Balancing your time is vital

Nick Solari

With only a few days left before Thanksgiving break, many college students around the country are still trying to find ways to add hours to each day.

Finals are approaching, causing many to feel as though their daily schedule is overbearing.

How do I make time to write this paper? Should I stop going to the gym in order to study? How do I keep track of all my assignments?

These are all questions students frequently during this time of the year. The good news is, if you’re asking these same questions, you’re not alone.

According to a 2008 Associated Press and mtvU survey of college students, 80 percent of students said they frequently or sometimes experience daily stress. Couple that with the fact that 9.1 percent of college students are affected by anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and you can see that stress has become a norm around colleges campuses, taking over students of all majors come the final few weeks of the semester.

And for some, having a lot of things to do each day lasts throughout the whole semester—and the premise of finals just adds to the cloud of pressure that weighs over their lives.

There are ways to avoid this stress, though, and going coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs isn’t as inevitable as it may seem.

One way to keep track of everything is by simply writing it down. Every night before bed, I write down the next day’s agenda to ensure that I don’t forget anything, and that I know exactly what needs to be accomplished. Keeping an agenda provides closure for me, as I can look at the list of assignments throughout the day to make sure I’m on task.

Finding your ideal study location is important, too. For some, studying in the Arnold Bernhard Library is the best way to be productive. But for others, like myself, studying in alternative ways can be much better. I like to study on York Hill, often times in the common room of my suite. I can pace around when I’m there, and I don’t have to deal with worrying about keeping others off task. Find your place, and commit time periods throughout the day to it.

Another good way to prepare for the next few weeks is by taking advantage of Thanksgiving break. Bring your work home with you and get ahead. Write that paper that’s going to be due in a few weeks, study the information that’s going to be on your finals. It will help eliminate any cramming.

And lastly, the harsh truth. Suck it up and deal with it.

It may sound a bit jarring to hear somebody say that—and you may hate it when you hear those words—but they reign true in this case. Finals aren’t supposed to be a cake-walk for college students. You might not have time to binge-watch your favorite television show on Netflix for five hours at a time for the next two or three weeks. You may have to cut out some things from your life to ensure that you get good grades on your finals. But that’s what it takes.

Only 65.9 percent of high school graduates enrolled in a college institution in October of 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And only 33.5 percent of Americans from ages 25-29 had at least a bachelor’s degree.

But that’s what you’re working toward. And if you stay on task, handle all of your assignments properly and avoid becoming too stressed, you’ll be in that 33.5 percentile soon enough, too.

Pretty cool, right?