How to Stay 3 Steps Ahead this Semester

How to Stay 3 Steps Ahead this Semester

Alexis Marchitte—College is said to be the most fun, life-changing years of your life but unfortunately that doesn’t mean ignoring all your responsibilities. Although it does depend on your major, my major (Athletic Training) seems like there is much less time for fun compared to other students in other majors. Which is why setting goals and setting a schedule for yourself at the beginning of each semester, and maybe halfway through as well, is incredibly helpful.

High school does not prepare you for the time management that colleges takes. I thought I had excellent time management because in high school I took college credits, played varsity sports, and was working part time at the local Dairy Queen. This semester I am taking 17 credits, I am working with 5 different sports teams on campus as a Student Athletic Trainer, I am in the Sports Medicine Club and I work around 12 hours a week at the SERC. This year I am living off campus so I have to balance cooking for myself and taking care of a house. I thought I was handling it well but the stress has kicked into high gear. One of the best ways to handle stress is to set a routine for yourself. That way you’re not rushing to get things done.

Set time aside for:

  1. studying
  2. working
  3. eating
  4. working out
  5. plans with friends/social events
  6. alone time

Other ways to handle stress are:

  1. Sleep at least 7 hours a night
  2. Eat a well balanced diet
  3. Make time for exercise. Whether it’s a 30 minute walk, a Zumba class or pumping iron.
  4. Talk to your friends and family! As much as I hate to admit that I need people, they are your emotional support system. You need people in your corner.
  5. Take 20 minutes to yourself daily to forget about those 3 assignments and 2 exams that are coming and just breathe. Meditate, stretch, color!
  6. Find a hobby that is relaxing for you. Anything that takes your mind off school.
  7. Keep an agenda or calendar!
  8. Set goals for yourself and stick to them!

My goals for this semester are:

  1. Raise my GPA back up to a 3.5 or higher
  2. Lose 5 more lbs (or more realistically, make it to the gym a couple days a week)
  3. Keep Eating Clean!
  4. Sign up for winter classes
  5. Start shadowing/volunteering for Physical Therapy
  6. Don’t stress the small things
  7. Take it one day at a time but don’t forget to remember the bigger picture
  8. Start studying at least 6 days before the test


Remember that it’s possible to balance both the fun stuff with the not so fun stuff but it takes some planning! It can all be very overwhelming, even as a junior, college can be a little too much sometimes. I have to take a step back and re-adjust my lifestyle and my schedule to make things work. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it but I’m finally learning how to take the excess stress off my chest. College is a on-going learning process, don’t get discouraged if it takes you longer to adjust!

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