Schedule Your Stress Away

The time has come for spring semester classes to start, and like most students, I have spent the week denying winter break is over.

 Professors and instructors often use this week to read syllabi and outline course requirements. Students, in turn, put off buying books and reading assignment schedules. While chances are nothing will be due until the next week, or maybe later than that, I want to encourage students to get organized now to avoid stress in the future.

Every semester, there is at least one student per class that misses due dates simply because he or she forgot to read the syllabus or did not write the assignment down. In college, staying organized is essential to making good grades and avoiding stress.

Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life suggests making a master schedule that lists all personal, academic and career obligations for the week, month and semester to stay organized. Diligently maintaining a schedule makes organization simple.

To start the semester off right, students should invest in a planner if they do not already have one. Write down class times, work schedules, appointments and all other time consuming activities. As professors start handing out syllabi, fill in important due dates or assignments – this will help you know ahead of time if any busy weeks are coming up so you can plan to get work done in advance.

Students interested in staying healthy may also find this method helpful in planning workout times. School, work and social activities can take up a lot of time and build stress. Exercise for just 30 minutes a day helps relieve stress and promote fitness, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends an hour of exercise for most days of the week. By filling a planner with all required activities, students can spot free time and plan workouts or time to enjoy their favorite physical activities.

Writing out schedules may even be therapeutic to students with particularly heavy workloads. A schedule broken down by the hour can show these students exactly when and how things will get done and help them avoid feeling as though everything is chaotic.

As a student who works two jobs and takes a full course load, I can attest to this method and say it really works. I exercise daily, rarely overlook an assignment and have more time to spend with my friends because I plan out my days, leaving plenty of time for fun.

Take advantage of the beginning of the semester when things are slow. Plan how you will spend your time and try to stick to it. It could lead to a less stressful year.

– Emilly