Ways to Make Your Semester Better

Let’s face it, it’s not easy being a student. With overwhelming schedules, demanding classes, and ridiculously heavy workloads, school can be daunting. I think we can all agree that the weight of academics can often be immobilizing, and juggling additional activities and obligations on top of an education doesn’t help alleviate the stress much. That being said, it’s important to take care of yourself in the midst of the mayhem! Don’t let this semester bring you down—defeat the beast with these back to school tips.

Schedule a nine-to-five. We know what you’re thinking: “A nine-to-five job as a full time student with a hectic schedule and massive workload—are you crazy?!” Don’t worry, that’s not what we mean. Rather, try arranging your day in a way that allows you to complete your daily tasks and workload by 5pm, giving you the rest of the night to relax and unwind, just like working a 9am-5pm job. So if you have three classes a day, for example, try using the breaks before, in between, and after those classes to accomplish all of your school work, then when 5 o’clock comes around, you can relieve yourself of your duties and go “off the clock” for the remainder of your day. This way, all homework and school-related tasks can be condensed into the 9am-5pm window rather than having the weight of your responsibilities hanging over your head for the entire day. If you’re the type of person who procrastinates and neglects school work until the end of the night, the nine-to-five tactic might be the perfect way to alleviate your stress. What a way to make a livin’!

Keep a planning tool. An agenda, daily planner, or calendar can be an essential tool for making it through the semester with ease. Planning tools are perfect for organizing your schedule in a way that best suits your personal needs and organizational preferences. If you’re the type of person who likes to break down your schedule to the hour, a daily planner might be the tool for you. If you like having the ability to both plan out and view the layout of your entire week, you might want to utilize a weekly planner. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t need a super precise breakdown of your schedule and would rather keep track of key events only, you’ll probably thrive using a calendar or a planner with a monthly layout. Whatever your planning tool of choice is, you can expect to feel a lot more put-together while using one and will likely experience a much easier time keeping track of your assignments and obligations.

Set aside meal times and snack breaks. With busy schedules and chaotic workloads, it’s easy to lose track of time and accidentally skip a meal here and there. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is so important to feed and take care of our bodies. After all, food gives us the strength and energy we need to make it through the day! If you’re the type of person who forgets to eat from time to time, try building meal times into your day. Whether that means assigning consistent mealtimes to adhere to every day, blocking out time spans for meals in your daily planner, or setting an alarm or reminder on your phone to alert you around mealtime, you can better decrease the likelihood of accidentally missing another meal. You can even stash snacks in your backpack or purse to have with you throughout the day to munch on as you please. Throw a few Whoa Dough bars in your bag and you’re all set for a day of nutritious on-the-go snacking!

Carry a water bottle. Having a water bottle on your person throughout the day is an incredibly simple and effective way of taking care of yourself throughout the semester. Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a class lecture with chapped lips and a dry mouth, your body practically begging for the refreshing taste of water? Filling up a reusable water bottle with your beverage of choice and carrying it from class to class is a great way to keep yourself hydrated as you navigate your way through your daily schedule. 

Appoint days off. When it comes to school, it’s important to give yourself a break every once in a while. Students often attempt to tackle overwhelming amounts of work without giving themselves a chance to slow down and decompress. Try choosing one or two days a week to appoint as your “off days” where you can relax and unwind or do something fun and enjoyable instead of worrying about coursework. Whether you decide that Saturdays and Sundays will be your vacation days or you choose one or two days during the week, you’ll be happy you gave yourself a break.

Make time to do what makes you happy. No matter how busy your schedule is, it’s important to make time to do the things that make you happy. Whether that means meeting up with friends for a coffee date, creating art, taking a jog, or just watching a few episodes of your favorite show, doing something you enjoy in the midst of a busy week is a great way to keep yourself feeling mentally rejuvenated and motivated to make it through the week. Even taking a 20 minute power nap or allowing yourself an hour of Netflix can help refresh your body and mind in the midst of a stressful or demanding week.

No matter how many classes you’re taking, how much work you’ve been assigned, or how many extracurriculars you’re involved in, this semester doesn’t have to get the best of you. Make things easier for yourself by employing some new strategies into your daily schedule, and most importantly, take care of yourself! You’re going to kill it this spring.

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