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College Back-to-School Survival Tips
December 18, 2020

It’s only a few weeks before the new school year begins in June, while some colleges won’t be coming back until September. Nevertheless, it’s back to school. This is something you may be feeling anxious or excited about. It’s time for new challenges, new professors, new friends, and probably even some new cute seatmates. With a few months to go, why not get a head start? We promise it won’t take too much time away from the rest of your vacation time.

1. Transportation
One major back-to-school consideration is finding the best way to get to and from your school. Depending on where your university is and how close your home or dormitory is, sometimes it’s better to walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation. As much as possible, refrain from driving your car to school. Traffic’s bad enough as it is.

2. “Reserve” your study space
If you’re a university dorm resident, you may want to think twice about using your room as your study space. From noisy roommates to your cozy bed and/or game console, your room is a nesting place of distractions. During these trying times, the library will be your best friend. It’s quiet and it has the scholarly resources that you can use. You also won’t find yourself busting your budget and diet on a cafe mocha latte that you don’t really need. Plus, the library is also a good place to take a quick snooze after a long study session. You might even find your laptop to be one of those distractions. If that happens to be the case, ditch it and go old school with your textbooks and notebooks. If using your laptop is an absolute must, you can install productivity apps that can keep you from accessing online distractions like Facebook or 9gag when you should be studying (or more likely, cramming).

3. Organize your schedule
Speaking of cramming, you need to have a more organized schedule to avoid it. You don’t want to be cramming a major project just the night before, do you? Come up with a plan, write it down, and follow it to the letter. So when you go out to buy school supplies, don’t forget to grab a day planner from the bookstore.Take note of every task that you need to accomplish for the week including your classes, org schedules, workout (if any), major deadlines and test dates, and sleeping times. Or if you’re more of the digital type, there’s an app for that. You can set alarms as well so you’ll get reminders constantly. If by any chance you have trouble deciding which one to begin with (which you will, eventually), always start with the easiest task first, moving on to the hardest, and closing your day finishing off an easy task. Also, watch your org duties and make sure that it doesn’t overshadow your studies. Sure, extracurricular activities give plus points on a resume but when it comes at the cost of your grades, you can never get the diploma just because of your affiliations.

4. Sleep on time
This. Most, if not all, college students can relate to sleepless nights. Three papers, a long exam, and a major project all due the next day? Sounds a little too familiar.We’ve all been there. We don’t like it but it’s necessary. Unfortunately, we have to find a way around it. Getting enough sleep is vital for you to succeed college. If you’re trying to convince yourself right now that it won’t happen, good luck with that. Try waking up all energetic for a 7AM class. And we all know you’ll be hitting that snooze button grumbling for five more minutes.We’ve all been there. While it seems like a good idea to squeeze as much extra hours of the night into studying for that Physics long exam, scientists beg to differ. A study conducted by researchers at UCLA discovered that those who sacrificed their sleep to get some extra study suffered a decrease in their academic performance. You may have had the extra time to study but the drawback – you’ll be unable to think straight on the day of the exam. You are more likely to draw blanks or even forget some major details as your concentration drops from lack of sleep. It’s easier said than done but getting consistent sleep hours, that’s at least 7 – 8 hours, must be part of your schedule.

5. Stay positive
Optimism is an important tool in going back to school. As your requirements become more intensive over the year and as you experience academic setbacks, depression can set in, students become demotivated. As that happens, academic performance is affected and failure becomes more of an inevitability than it is a chance. This school year, commit yourself to smile throughout the year. Face every challenge and every setback with glass-half-full mentality. Find solace in friends and in your family. Consult with your professors if ever you do not understand a particular topic in class. The important thing is that you should never give up, no matter how difficult things seem to be.

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The author of this article contributed in their own personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of COCOGEN Insurance.