What time is it, you ask? Well, it’s time for you to get back into the habit of organizing your life. Planning for the new semester when glancing over your books and syllabi can be the most frustrating feeling ever — overwhelming, even. Fear not, my fellow college friends. Following a few steps before your classes start can alleviate stress and prepare you for a great semester ahead.

1.  Ever heard of this thing called “online calendars”?

Well, if you haven’t, let me introduce you to it. You see, the Internet offers a plethora of calendars that can be printed, synched to your smartphone or iPod and tailored to your needs. While many exist, I personally love Google’s calendar.

If you have a Gmail account you should be able to click on their calendar tab and use their format to fill in your class schedule, work schedule, TV shows and anything else that will help you stay organized. Even better, synced calendars to your phone can have Google send you reminders before your event takes place. We live in a great age of technology when your schedule doesn’t have to be scribbled on a piece of paper or stored in your mind. Utilize it, please!

2.  Set goals for yourself before your classes even start.
Get into the habit of writing down goals that you want to accomplish, both long term and short term. Long term goals are things that take place over weeks, maybe even months. Short term goals are ideas that you want to bring to life over the course of a shorter period of time.

For instance, a short term goal can be that you want to earn an A on a test you’re taking in a few weeks. A long term goal can be that you want to achieve a 3.5 GPA, which would require you working hard all semester for this to be accomplished. Setting goals ahead of time has proven to help people focus better about the bigger picture, which is completely different for everyone.

3.  Stick to a set sleep schedule.
College, as we all know – or may not know – can distract us from getting any sleep. Between our friends wanting to socialize, our homework, job and parents wanting us to update them about our lives, it’s fairly impossible to sleep. However, setting a strict bed time before your life is thrown into the whirlpool again will force us to get enough rest.

It is recommended that everyone gets at least eight hours of sleep a night, so try to stick around that time frame. Sleep is essential for our bodies to function correctly, and even for our bodies to heal themselves when we’re sick. Not getting enough sleep wears on the body, and can eventually get us in trouble health-wise overtime.

4.  Plan to eat a balanced meal.
Let’s face it: pizza, ramen noodles and sub sandwiches are delicious; they’re fairly cheap and they’re easy to get. However, they’re also bad for our overall health, can cause us to gain a significant amount of weight if eaten regularly and it doesn’t help you to focus your life. Your body needs a balanced nutritional diet, just as much as it needs sleep and exercise. Taking care of your body when you’re younger may be harder, but starting the habit now will yield substantial results for you in the end.

Although these tips may seem obvious or small, they’re going to pay off big when the semester hits. Life is enough within itself, and the added stress of juggling college can distract you easily. Take the time to prepare yourself. There’s no harm in wanting to make sure your ride is a little less bumpy.


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