Habits You Absolutely Need for College in a Pandemiccsudhbulletin April 27, 2021 0 COMMENTS
Healthy habits such as creating a routine can help balance your academic life. Photo by Chaz Kawamura.
By Chaz Kawamura, Staff Reporter
The phrase “blessed, not stressed” always comes to mind when I think about studying or getting ready for a big assignment. This has truly been the norm I always faced ever since I started my college educational career. But with this pandemic only making it worse, I knew that I needed to find new ways to study while also changing the way I go about doing assignments.
Being in college altogether can be hard. However, with other extra-curricular activities like being in a fraternity, being a staff reporter for the Bulletin, and being in a club, it makes it much harder to find time to study or do homework. But somehow, I still manage to step up to the plate and do what I need to do academically on a weekly basis.
At first, I struggled with getting grades higher than C’s and B’s on my exams. It was not until I started a new strategy that I started achieving As on my exams and quizzes. The stress of my grades would lead me to have breakdowns every other week until I came up with my new routine.
Before, I tried so many different tricks and tips like studying all the information and cramming it into one day, taking breaks in between 30 minutes of studying or working on an assignment, or studying and working on each part of the assignment, section by section. All have worked, but not like my three-step process which I started in my second year of college.
I used to cram all my studying into one day and rush to finish all my assignments in another. This habit added stress on me that affected the exams and quizzes I would take as I felt the added pressure of piling all the information in a small window of time.
Ever since I changed my method of studying, my grades have been improving whether it be for projects, exams, or assignments because of the less stress I face. I knew to change my studying habits because after I finished all my general education courses, I knew that I had to change to focus on my major courses more and excel and succeed in those classes.
The first step in my process is to set up my weekly calendar on Monday before I have any classes. I would create a list of assignments, quizzes, and/or exams to do or study throughout that week. I also included my schedule with the various meetings I had throughout the week like for the fraternity I’m in and the club I am in, Society of Independent Student Journalists.
For each assignment whether it be group or individual, I create a self due date for myself. This is so each day I can be as productive as I can be so I do not need to stress or worry about missing a due date which lightens the load for myself as a whole.
The second step in my weekly routine is to start with the easier assignments I have on my list. I usually get things like mini-quizzes, shorts essays, and short responses done first because they’re quick to finish. After that, I complete time-consuming assignments like ten-page essays.
The third step is studying for exams. The step coincides both with steps one and two as I usually do it in-between breaks of assignments. I try to do a category of studying a day and put it all together the day before the test. I try to go step by step so that I do not overwhelm myself with too much information.
My routine isn’t just based on nothing, the Toro Learning and Testing Center has similar advice. An assistant at the center, Benjamin Garcia Morales, says it is extremely important to have a structured schedule, especially in a time like this pandemic where the majority of students’ classes are online which means more distractions from not getting things done.
“It is very important to have a structured schedule. Time management is an important skill you need to learn,” Garcia Morales said.
Structuring my days around this routine helps me keep organized and stay focused on the work for my classes. It is almost like my make-shift planner in a way.
In a time like this, I absolutely need to be at ease and stress-free when it comes to school. Before I switched to my current routine I would be so overwhelmed and constantly had breakdowns. I needed a change. This is what I came up with and it has been working ever since. It is something that I created for myself to reach my goal of truly being blessed and not stressed.