College Survival Tips

Katie Laughlin, Features Editor

I am a sophomore in college. I am in a sorority, play tennis at Kentucky Wesleyan College, and I’m involved in other clubs on campus. I majoring in communications and am taking 17 hours this semester. Being involved makes my college experience the best time of my life. I don’t know what I would do without my sisters, teammates, and friends.

I do not have much free time throughout the week, so I have to manage my time wisely. I have become a pro napper and coffee drinker. Since I have been in college, I have had plenty of freak-outs and mental breakdowns like the rest of us, but I have found the key to staying sane while balancing academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities.

The most important thing is to go with the flow. Making plans and scheduling out every second of my week sounds productive, but it never lasts longer than a morning. Roll with the punches; accept each day as it comes. This would be the first thing.

The second thing is to manage the time you have wisely. Instead of watching five episodes of my favorite show on Netflix, maybe I could watch two at a time and read for my advertising class in between. Or instead of going to Bdubs with the guys for the game, I could study for my test for the first half and watch the second half. It all comes down to prioritizing your to-do lists and valuing the time allotted to you.

The third thing is to not study too much. When you have four tests in one week and all of them are in your core classes, you have to study your mind off. However, it is important to take study breaks with your friends and remind yourself that you are capable. If I study too much for a test I freak myself out during the test and my scores suffer. There is always a healthy amount of stress that I put towards each test and assignment, but I work 100 times better when I am not worrying about the class. Care, but don’t care too much.

Confidence is key in any task. Sometimes I look at my week on a Sunday night and get so overwhelmed that I can’t do anything. It is very important to take things one step at a time. When I feel overwhelmed, I take 20 minuets to do whatever I need to do to relax and change my perspective. Usually it is scrolling on social media- if I can’t handle my life at the moment I might as well see about everyone else’s, right? I recommend eating a favorite snack, going off campus to get a good $4 drink from Starbucks, or working out. Doing three sets of ten push ups, sit ups, and squats could be just what your body needs to feel able to take on the task at hand.

Balancing school and a social life is every college kid’s dilemma. Personally, I struggle with keeping in touch with my friends at home. Honestly, it is the least of my worries when I am two hours away, and I can just like a few pictures on Instagram so that they know I am still alive. When I am at school, I either hang out with my friends too much or not at all. There is no in between. I have found success in studying with my friends after an afternoon nap then going to dinner. This way I accomplish socializing while staying on top of my schoolwork and simultaneously relieving stress by interacting with people.

These are the times in my life that I will look back and smile because I am making friends for a lifetime and getting my degree to help me with my career. There isn’t anything better than looking back at your college years feeling content and wishing you could go back. Right now I am not very happy about being in college because finals are coming up. I am sure I will rather have these responsibilities when I am 25 and have to pay a mortgage bill. The key to being successful in college is going with the flow, managing time wisely, and balancing social life and schoolwork. Mastering these things could take a lifetime so in the mean time I encourage my fellow colleagues to smile at the struggle and enjoy the journey that college brings.