Emily: My Best Advice for Adjusting to College

Before I arrived at Boston University, the one thing I was most excited about was having freedom; freedom to choose my classes, try new things, and do whatever I was in the mood for. However, upon arrival, my newfound freedom was a little overwhelming. Aside from classes and extracurricular meetings, I had complete control over how I spent my day. Although the idea of taking a nap whenever I wanted was exciting (because who doesn’t love naps???), I learned quickly that this wasn’t the best idea. After a few weeks, I realized they key to successfully adjusting to college was creating a schedule. Although I like to plan things out, I still make sure to leave room for fun!

1. Use your Calendar

I know it sounds simple, but scheduling tasks that you need to get done in your calendar is a super helpful tool. If you treat important tasks like an appointment, you will be more likely to get them done. I will almost never take a spontaneous trip to Mugar to do homework or study, but when I put it as an event in my calendar, I find it much easier to take the time to actually go.

2. Set an Eating Schedule

I don’t know about you, but for me my days revolve around when I eat. Early in my first semester, I just ate at super random times (4pm lunch anyone?), but as time went on I realized this was not such a great idea. Because I would end up eating lunch super late, it would push back my entire schedule, and I would end up going to bed really late at night. By setting out specific meal times, I was able to go about my day more efficiently. This isn’t to say that you can’t eat at a different time a few times, but keeping your routine relatively similar from day to day helps me stay on track.

3. Create a Routine That Works for You

You want to create a schedule that makes you feel efficient, but you don’t want to end up burning out. As much as you want to spend 5 hours a day at Mugar, that probably isn’t realistic. If your schedule feels like a burden, you probably will not stick to it for long. Similarly, if you create a routine that is too rigid and time sensitive, you won’t want to follow it. What I do is give myself a range of times to accomplish everything so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. If I have a test in a week, for example, I will lay out a few hours over the course of the week in preparation instead of putting it all within a day or two before my exam. That way, I feel that my work is manageable. I’ll put it in my calendar, and then I’ll take it day by day. Planning things out will help you feel that you can accomplish whatever you need to get done.

4. Leave Room for Fun!!!

While I like to plan out when I study and sleep, I make sure to leave a lot of open space in my schedule for fun! By only putting in what I feel is essential, I create a lot of opening in my schedule for spontaneous adventures. I make sure that my schedule gives me time to go out and have fun, or to just lay around in bed watching Netflix. While getting my work done is very important to me, I don’t want to feel deprived of anything. If I feel like I have no time to breathe and relax, I’ll just end up being less productive. So, while managing your time is important, make sure you balance your work with having fun and enjoying yourself!

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