I have come to understand the word prioritization this semester. Yes, it is only day three of the term, and yes, I probably should have comprehended this word in its entirety prior to college. Probably even prior to middle school.
But let me tell you, it isn’t easy having to cut back on the things you love in order to accomplish the things you loathe (but will eventually lead to success and fulfillment—or so I’m told). It is hard to stay on top of things when your brain has turned to mush after 6 hours of lecture on days cushioned between 4 hour labs. Yet here I am, writing a blog in the twenty minutes of free time I managed to squeeze out of the day. I have a few secrets to staying on top of things. This may only work for well, me, but here they are anyway:
1) Sticky Notes. I make a to-do list every night for what I need to accomplish the following day, preferably on the most obnoxious neon sticky pad I can find. Maybe this is a bit over-kill when it comes to preparation, but you check off all your little boxes on your sticky note, and then tell me it doesn’t feel great!
2) Food as Fuel. Eat healthy, dude, it’s “in” right now anyway.
3) Exercise. Wait, taking time out of my already cram-packed day to sweat? It’s worth it—exercise has definitely reduced my stress levels, has given me a great study break, and also allows my brain to focus harder when I need it to (take that, cell biology!). Plus, my jeans fit again from after Christmas break :)
4) Planner. In addition to my sticky notes, I use a planner. So what, judge me! It allows me to see my week laid out, and gives me reminders on upcoming due dates and fun events I will have to finish homework prior to. Worth every cent.
5) Lastly, good sleep. Hard to come by, but makes a heck of a difference. Sometimes I can’t get as many zzz’s as I’d like, so I squeeze in a nap somewhere between classes. Studies say the perfect nap is 26 minutes. It works, people! Setting your alarm between 25 and 30 mins allows your body to rest and restore without drowsy side effects. I love me a good 2 hour nap, don’t get me wrong, but the shorter ones are much more affordable, and all the more efficient.
There you have it. These pointers are obviously not anything you haven’t heard before, but from the perspective of a real college student submerged in a chaotic semester, they are gold. GOLD!
So, let’s see how Spring Term 2012 pans out!
*The picture is of me and Anna, "working super hard" in the library. Honest!