Hi everyone, this week the Modern Nerd is going to tackle the concept of sanity as a college student. I may need a bigger boat, but let’s look at what the average college student has to deal with on a weekly basis.
There are many things that I didn’t anticipate about going to college. Homework, classes, projects, dealing with roommates, sports, friends, dating, parties, group projects, reading, studying, cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc. etc., the list goes on for about half a mile. My philosophy is that college doesn’t teach you the specific things you need to learn, that’s just the side effect. College shows you what it’s really like to be a real person. We all meet this challenge with varying degrees of success. But there are several key tricks that you can use to stay ahead, and technology is a great tool to give you a helping hand.
That was today? OH $%*&…
The number one thing you can do is plan. There is a reason that there are 500 clichés about planning, so I’ll do you the favor of not throwing another one at you. What I will recommend is to use a calendar.
Everyone has a calendar on their computer, their email accounts, and their smartphones. The trouble is using it. Putting everything on your calendar saves time, stress, and aggravation over lost time. If you have an easy way to create your own schedule in your pocket, you should use it. If the calendar that you have isn’t working for you, try your App store. There are many others that have different layouts and features that may help you out. If you plan ahead for large projects and schedule some time where you can get work done, you can also schedule the next time that it’s time to de-stress and grab a pint at the pub.
How to Bend but not Break
The key is flexibility. Planning is great, and once you take into account all of the things you have to do over the course of a normal day, you need some flex time. If you plan your schedule out so rigorously that every single second is booked, that schedule won’t last long. Things just have a tendency to come up.
So be flexible. Have a few hours that you can use for whatever you need. I had a system back when I was a freshman, and it failed. Miserably. But the key thing is to realize that having a system isn’t the problem, you just need to try a new system. Keep trying new and different things, because you can only find out how well something works after you test it.
..I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
The last thing that I advise is not skimping on your sleep. It’s tempting to think that all—nighters might be the solution to your problems, and I’ll admit that I’ve had to pull a few myself. But all the sugar and caffeine in the world is not a substitute for 6 hours of shuteye. It’s a fact that the human body can be trained to go without sleep for an extended period of time, but it lowers your reflexes, alertness, and even your IQ until you sleep. Whenever you need a few more hours here or there, the one thing that you can’t cut out is the rack time.
And if all else fails, don’t forget to take a break every once in a while. Playing a game or reading a book for an hour will help you clear your head and you’ll be more productive.
This topic is a departure from my earlier entries, and I don’t have any special tech gear for you this week. But when it was suggested to me, I thought that it was worth talking about. I didn’t have the easiest time adjusting to planning everything out myself, but I have come up with a schedule kept on my iPhone that I think works for me, and if you are getting into college, I hope you find something that works for you.
As I said, this topic was suggested to me. If you have a specific topic that you think is worth exploring, I’d be happy to oblige if I think I can add something meaningful. Send me an email with your thoughts. Thanks for reading.