Let me start with a pretty obvious statement: when you go off to college you are on your own. Your parents, best friends from high school, favorite teachers, grandparents and whoever else you might rely on at home are no longer with you.
You are suddenly responsible for waking up in time for class, having time to both socialize and do your homework, make it to each class on time and get dinner. Oh yeah, and do things like clean, do laundry and make your bed.
You may think you are already a fairly independent person, but I remember the first time I accidentally shut off my alarm and had to bolt across campus to make it to an early class. My mom was no where to be found to make sure I had adequate time to brush my teeth, hair and tie my shoes. It was all me.
Thankfully, this only happened the one time, and I have been (knock on wood) good about having all my ducks in a row. There are some tips that I have found work best for me to make sure I don’t forget any commitments I may have: (be sure to check out this college blogger, as some of our tips differ!)
1) Get yourself a planner, even a small one will do. I use one that has a separate section for each day. This ensures that I can clearly see everything I have going on on any given day at any certain time.
2) Mark down events, due dates, meeting times, etc., in your planner AND on a wall calendar. This way if your planner gets temporarily misplaced you are safe from a total meltdown. And a wall calendar is easy to place above your desk where you can see it while working.
3) Use post-it notes/paper to make a weekly list of not only things you have to get accomplished but also any goals you may have. And be sure to cross off each task as you complete it. That way you can really see all the things you are achieving.
4) Keep things in mind. Don’t absentmindedly write things in your planner or on your calendar. This is especially handy for events that happen frequently since then you aren’t constantly writing down the same plans. It also is nice to not have to constantly consult your planner.
5) Get a schedule nailed down quickly. Know what time you will wake up each day, what classes, meetings, and plans you have each day or every other day. Structure is not necessarily a bad thing, it can certainly help during the transitional phase.
Why go to such lengths to keep your life in order? It not only makes the adjustment process easier, but it also gives you the ability to know when you are free to make plans with friends and when to do your homework. After all, you are living without your parents around, so there is a thrill of experiencing this new-found freedom. But don’t let it go to waste because Hanover, and all colleges, have so much to offer.