Tips to College Success—Part 1

img_0108When it comes to college, we all know that if we are going to get everything done, we need to simplify. So instead of a huge "College How-to" check list, I narrowed it down to the following three S's: Schedule, Sleep, and Study. We all have a lot on our plate, but here are three tips for success to help you stay focused throughout the semester. In this post, we'll just talk about the first one.

#1: Schedule. I love to schedule! Call it a hobby or a curse, but I so enjoy planning out semesters, days, and even hours. As a college student, I have realized just how valuable my time is. After all, according to Benjamin Franklin, time is "the stuff life is made of." Seize the opportunity to capitalize on every moment God has given you!

Now the question is... how? If you aren't used to planning, here are a few steps to get you started in the right direction.

Probably my life-saver during school is my planner. It's small and convenient, but it has enough space for each class's assignments and events for the whole semester. As soon as I got my course outlines, I wrote down all the projects and homework (in different colored pens! ...a little over the top, granted, but it works for me). With everything in one spot, I can see exactly what's due, as well as work ahead if I get the chance. The absolute best part for me is checking off each item when it's done—the best self-motivation I can think of.

After planning out all of your assignments and class schedule, there's still much more to schedule to be sure your priorities are in order. Take the time to schedule Christian service, collegian activities, and productions you wish to attend or are involved in. Above all our priorities at college, scheduling a daily time with the Lord is most important. Planning your day to include devotions and prayer time will keep yourself accountable and keep your quiet time consistent.

Scheduling can be taken to any level of extremity and can either be a tool or hand-cuffs in your life. Experiment.  I know students who plan every day on an index card. Another way to plan is to have a separate folder for each class to ensure all loose papers find a home. Dry erase markers on a mirror or calendar can provide a convenient collection of events as well. Find out what works for you and stick with it.

Whatever you decide, strive for balance. Don't forget to be flexible! Scheduling should always help de-stress, not the other way around. The goal of scheduling is not to micromanage, but to use your God-given minutes efficiently. Carpe Diem!

The thoughts and opinions expressed in Life in the Nest are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pensacola Christian College.
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