How Hard Can it Really Be?
When most people start college, they may already assume it will be more difficult than anything they’ve experienced before in their education. That was true for me, only it was even worse than I expected. I don’t think I was fully prepared for the level of work coming my way. After a couple weeks into my first semester, I realized I needed to get a handle on it and that there were ways to stop myself from wallowing about all the work I had to do. So here I am to share my honest tips and tricks about dealing with hard classes and work.
- Use Your Resources. The great thing about Arcadia is that it provides resources for any student to use at almost any point of need. For example, there is the Writing Center with trained individuals to help you with papers and essays of any kind. We also have the Learning Resource Network (LRN) with tutors for almost every specific class. For both of these, you can sign up for times through PortalGuard. Also don’t forget about the simple things, like the library for some quiet time to yourself or simply asking a professor for help. They are there to help you excel. None of them want you to fail!
- Manage Your Time. A big thing that I changed this semester was my time management and productivity skills. Everyone knows the feeling of sitting at your desk at 11 pm, rushing to finish a paper that is due at 11:59 pm, which you probably should have started weeks ago. In order to prevent that, do not try to finish a paper in a single day. Spread out your work and make a schedule, either in an agenda, on your laptop, or even just the notes app on your phone. By giving yourself a little bit to do every day instead of a lot at once, you will be less stressed about work overload. And if you do end up having a last-minute time crunch, do not feel bad about it! Just remember to plan better next time.
- Make Required Classes Work for You. I understand that students may not want to take every subject just to be able to graduate, but there is a reason they are required. These classes are not the same as the simple math, English, history, or science ones we took in high school, since you are usually able to choose a specific topic in those subjects to study. Maybe you didn’t like biology in high school; try a physics class instead. Maybe American history wasn’t your thing; pick a European studies history class instead. The beauty of required classes in college is that they are designed to further your knowledge and education based on your interests and skills. And if you don’t enjoy a class as much as you thought you might, drop out and choose something else. There is no shame in that!
- Give Yourself Free Time. A big misconception about college for some people is that you can party every weekend, never go to class, and still pass. However, depending on your major it can be a lot of work. That is why it is important to step away from your studies and take some well-deserved rest. Maybe not all the time, but at least give yourself a break once in a while to catch up with friends and family, watch your favorite show, or even just take a nap. If you are constantly focused on your classes, it becomes easier to burn out and give up all at once. You deserve some free time for all the hard work you have put in, so take it! It is also important to give yourself time to adjust. It is very uncommon to start college and immediately know exactly what you’re doing. Talk to people who have had similar experiences as you and see what they suggest to make the most of your time.
Even after the advice I have listed here, you may still feel lost. But you need to remember that every college student’s life takes a different path. There is no one way to succeed in your career, major, or even one class. Focus on yourself as much as you see fit and don’t let anyone put you down for the choices you make. But I can tell you a stress-free experience is more in your control than you might think. You got this.