Congratulations, you got into University! And now, after all your hard work, the experience has begun. The classes, the parties, the reading, the pubs, the studying, the local hotties… That is unless your attending one of those newfangled online colleges. There are plenty of online college programs out there and they can be pretty convenient, but most likely the coolest thing you will do all day is hang out with your cat in your underwear. For those of you still bouncing from campus to house parties to all night eateries and back, read on. Warning: this thing is kind of like a wee ball of snow that collects more and more snow as it begins its gentle roll down the hill. What we are saying is that the ‘snowball effect’ is inherent to any learning institution. Things start out a bit slow, then they gain momentum, then they gain velocity and… well pretty soon they are an avalanche that threatens to bury you deep. Sorry to ring the alarm, but we thought you should know.
Fear not, there are ways to stop that snowball before it turns into a landslide of snow that is crashing towards you. It’s all about planning, scheduling and plotting your progress. And it’s not that hard to do. Here are top ways to plot and plan your path down the sloping hill of college life.
ONE — Schedule everything, and schedule it in one place: journal, cell phone, or a calendar on your computer. This will be your Base Camp.
TWO — Break down each course like the bitch it is. Classes and lectures will have tests and assignments galore and they need to be ID’ed and scheduled. At the start of every term map out each course. List everything required of that course: key tasks, deadlines, expectations. Break them down into steps (working backwards from the deadline). Estimate the time requirements (be generous, allow a margin of error). Now move them to Base Camp.
THREE — Systemize. Any system works better than no system. So make one up for yourself and stick to it. Let’s say, every Monday is dedicated to Math, every Tuesday is dedicated to Telemetry, every afternoon gets two solid hours at the library logging study or research time. When you fall off track, forgive yourself, sober up and get back on track.
FOUR — Chunk everything down; none of this half hour of this or fifteen minutes of that. Block out a large chunk for any task. Two or three hours at a time, four if you can handle it, will make all your assignments more streamlined and faster than you can imagine. Cluster tasks together, so study for math after math class, your brain will already be on the subject, so you can take advantage of the momentum and make faster progress.
We know you won’t forget to schedule R & R time: we know you’re reliable about taking care of that part of your life…