(Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in a recent issue of The Campus Chronicle.)
You would think that when I took 21 credits last quarter, I would’ve learned my lesson. But, here I am, in the last quarter of my undergraduate career, wanting to pull all my hair out with a whopping 25.2 credits. I mention the .2 because, for the first time in all four years of college, I actually paid more attention to school when I was overloading than when I was doing the average 12-17 credits, so every little ugly detail has begun to count for me. I’m really hoping that after reading this, you will learn from my mistakes and make the most out of your time at PUC. So, here are a few pointers to make your life significantly easier than mine:
1. Plan out your class schedule ahead of time. If you can do it as far as a year in advance; even better. There’s nothing worse than having to stay an extra quarter or having to double up on your school load.
2. Believe it or not; sleep is super important. All those adults grilling you all these years were right when they said you need eight hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep builds up and when you don’t get a sufficient amount, it ruins everything. The video games, Skype sessions, binge TV watching, or whatever you do at night can seriously wait. Trust me, your health will thank you later.
3. Make time for yourself. I learned this one the hard way. It’s all fun and games until you’re suffering from pure exhaustion. Learning how to say “no” goes along with this as well. It’s not easy, I know. I’m still learning how to do that myself. If you have to think twice about whether or not you can help a friend with something or when you can pencil them in, it’s probably something you shouldn’t be doing in the first place. With six billion other people on this planet — and 1,677 other people in this school — there’s bound to be someone else that can lend a helping hand.
4. It’s okay to not be okay. I’m someone who gets overwhelmed easily, but would rather hold it in and act like nothing is wrong. I have learned there is nothing wrong with struggling. Learn different ways to help yourself de-stress. I’ll share a couple of things I do when I’m stressed. Bear with me; they are the most random combination of things in the world! I’ll either go get an espresso shake with Oreos from Gott’s; you might find me going for a run around campus; or I’m probably in my room watching something on Netflix. It all depends on your mood and who you are, but having plenty of options is what will help you get through the rough times.
5. Lastly, keep your friends and family close. I’m not talking about proximity either. I mean talk to them daily, tell them what is going on in your life, or go and do something spontaneous and fun. At the end of a long a day, it is that group of people who will drop everything just to check in with you and put a smile on your face.
College is rough, and anyone who told you otherwise wasn’t telling the truth. But you wouldn’t be here if you were incapable of getting through it. Keep your head up! If I can survive through 25.2 credits when senioritis is supposed to be in full gear, then you are going rock at anything you do.