We dove into the beginning of the spring semester with fresh minds, new schedules and new resolutions. We had the motivation to stay organized, hit the gym and eat healthy.
But fast forward to this point in the semester. We survived our first round of exams, we’re stressed and busy and we may not be feeling quite as confident about our “new year, new me” resolutions. As students, we often balance an overwhelming number of classes, clubs, group projects and other responsibilities that take up a majority of our schedule, leaving little time to de-stress and re-organize our lives. While it can often seem like your life is out of control, there are several ways to help keep organized and finish out the semester strong.
Many students use a weekly planner to keep track of things big and small. You can use your planner to do a lot more than just keep track of important dates. I use mine to remind myself to go to the gym, do laundry and go grocery shopping.
It can even be helpful to block out a few hours per week to “do nothing” and allow yourself to relax without feeling guilty. You can find planners pretty cheap at the Vandal Store or on Amazon.
It’s OK to say “no”
We usually become overwhelmed because we commit to too many things. This often arises from feeling guilty about saying “no.”
Even if we have space open in our schedules, it’s okay to say no to an event or hanging out with friends. This allows you time to focus your attention on the most important things, rather than stretch yourself thin over minor commitments.
Make a list
Crossing things off a list is incredibly satisfying. I create a weekly to-do list on my phone to keep track of homework, chores and even things like calling home.
To-do list apps are also great because you can set up reminder notifications and you’ll never forget your list at home.
Create a routine
Although some days as a college student can be hectic, sticking to a consistent schedule can make it easier to wake up in the morning, helps you be more productive and encourages healthier habits.
Waking up and going to bed around the same time each day, even on the weekends, sets your body’s natural clock and can make it a lot easier to get to those 8 a.m. classes. On the days you don’t have class until later, you have created more time to be productive in the morning so you have more free time in the evening.
Remember that even though staying organized is a good strategy, it isn’t the answer to all your stressors.
If you find yourself experiencing an overwhelming amount of stress, it can be helpful to talk with a counselor here on campus. They can help you develop skills to deal more effectively with the stress you are experiencing or simply be there to listen.
Call the University of Idaho Counseling and Testing Center to set up a free appointment at (208) 885-6716. Stay strong, Vandals. Spring Break is right around the corner.
Lauren Keens works with Vandal Health Education