A few students study in the Shepherd Union building.
A few students study in the Shepherd Union building. Good study habits can make or break your college career (Jamii Freston/The Signpost)

The beginning of the school year can be wild and chaotic. Registering for classes, making sure everything is paid for, finding your way around campus and getting books can take a serious toll.

Instead of having a mental breakdown when everything hits at once, there are a few simple and easy ways to stay afloat. These tips are not only short fixes, but can be developed into good habits that will help in the long run.

Time management is the name, and using it to its greatest advantage is the game. If students can hone this skill, nothing is impossible.

One way is to arrange priorities with lists. Use a list to give a visual representation of what tasks are the most important at the time.

“ABC” lists help to show which task should be completed first, second, and so on. For example, “A” is the test that in two days. “B” is the book report due in a week. “C” is research needed for an essay that is due in a month.

Using prioritized lists increases productivity and makes life a lot easier.

Next, avoid procrastination. This is the biggest factor which wastes people’s time.

One way to combat this affliction is to take things one at a time. It’s much easier to get that long list of things to do finished when only one job is in focus.

Setting goals can be extremely beneficial when trying to accomplish an objective.

Not only used for long term goals, “SMART” goals are very convenient when it comes to prioritizing. “SMART” stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Specific means that the goal is specialized enough to be verified and evaluated. In other words, it can be kept track of.

Goals should be measurable because when finished, you can get feedback to see how well you did.

Goals should also be attainable. Setting goals that are impossible to reach is as effective as a shoplifter shopping at an online store.

Realistic goals are the best goals. Setting a goal to study for 20 minutes every night is realistic. Setting a goal to become the next person on the moon in a year is not.

Lastly, it is important for goals to be timely. When goals refer to a specific time period or deadline, it can leave room for corrections or adjustments.

Using this method not only helps specify what needs to be done, but does so in an organized way.

Likewise, probably the simplest way to stay afloat when feeling overwhelmed is to find support in family, peers and even teachers.

Friends are always there when they are needed. Find a friend and stick with them.

Last but not least, take advantage of resources that are available. Working out, going to the stress relief center, talking to a counselor or even seeing a doctor can help in infinite ways.

Don’t let the discord at the beginning of school ruin the rest of the year. Go into it calm, cool and collected.

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