Life + Arts

Tips to keep your college career on track

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

College is stressful, and between maintaining decent grades and your sanity, it’s easy to fall behind on work. Sustaining an even workload throughout the semester and managing your time properly are both necessary when wanting to stay on track with your college career

It takes time to figure out the best study methods and what helps you the most, but here are some tips to give you a head start:

Weekly planning

Once you feel comfortable in your classes and have an idea of the amount of time you need to dedicate to them each week, you should make a weekly, monthly or even semester-long planner.

My go-to planner is Notion, but I also enjoy Google Calendar and Excel, and I suggest you start going through your assignments week by week. Make a list of work due the upcoming week, one class at a time, this way you can visually see the amount of work and time you need to dedicate to your classes.

You can cross the assignments and readings off as you complete them, slowly documenting your progress and giving you a visual of how much work is left in the week.


As previously mentioned, organizing your assignments is a huge help when it comes to properly managing your time, but I have a few more tips when it’s time for you to actually knock your assignments out.

First off, find the perfect study spot. This can be in the library, one of the student centers, a random building or anywhere else you see fit. It’s not easy to find the best study spot, but I prefer secluded ones so I won’t be bothered by anyone.

Next, bring headphones. I like listening to ambient sounds in the background, but lofi music is also a good choice — essentially just anything that’s not too distracting but can block out unwanted sounds.

Another pointer is to try the Pomodoro Technique, which typically consists of 25-minute study sessions with five-minute breaks. You can adjust these times as needed, but during the sessions, all distractions, including your phone, must be put away. It’s surprising how much work you can complete in such a short period of time when you’re not checking your phone every two minutes. 

And my last study tip is to set an end time, not a start time. So instead of telling yourself to start your work at a particular time, aim to finish it at a specific time. This is surprisingly beneficial and can help you work faster instead of consistently pushing back your start time.

Miscellaneous must-haves

A few more tips but less crucial include bringing an umbrella, as the weather seems to never work in your favor and this is something you do not want to learn the hard way. Also, it can never hurt to carry extra snacks with you; protein bars and Goldfish are necessities.

Owning a pair of decent walking shoes is a must-have to prevent sore feet and blisters, and a mini first-aid kit complete with Band-Aids and headache medicine is sure to cover any mishaps that might happen.

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