Universities instruct students in order to prepare them to go out to the market through a stressful, time consuming, and expensive process called education. It doesn’t sound so pleasant when one thinks about it in that way, but the higher education is required for one’s personal improvement. It is a process that may be difficult at some points (sometimes at every point) so I will give you some tips on how to make your academic life a bit easier.
1. Habits. Habits define who you are. Good habits have great value, while bad habits can stop you from using your full potential. Try to implement good habits in your life! Your mind and body may take around one month to embrace a new habit, once that you get to that point, you won’t need to try any harder to continue developing that practice. Try to replace your bad habits with healthy ones, it’s a nature’s law that just one habit can subdue another habit. Also, never try to start a lot of new habits at the same time, it’s not healthy to try to abruptly change your life; be patient and do progressive improvements. Remember, to create an olive, king of all trees, a hundred years is required, while an onion plant is old in nine weeks.
The only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits.
2. Keep it healthy. Your mental health and mental performance are as important as your physical ones. Exercising 30 minutes every two/three days is a good start; that extra serotonin in your brain will boost your academic performance. Eating healthy is also highly important; it will help you avoid visiting the doctor in the future. Sleep well is the last relevant factor. Be sure to sleep at least 6 hours a day. Experts recommend 8; so go ahead and do 8 if possible; but if not, sleep faster and do at least 6.
Exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace in mind.
3. Do lists. Organizing time might be the most difficult part of college. Try several ways of organizing your time. One that I’ve found really useful is making list with all my assignments and other pending tasks. By doing this you can visualize how much do you have to do, so you can mentally plan how long will it take you to finish all those tasks. However, don’t over-plan. I’ve seen students spending 45 minutes of their Monday preparing their weekly schedule, which will end up changing by Wednesday due to the new assignments. This is a waste of time; so, you better go ahead, establish your priorities, and start getting things done.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
I consider those previous 3 points really valuable for one’s academic life; however, each student must analyze their actual situation, and decide what they really need in order to achieve their personal goals. The most important thing is to always keep learning, keep improving, and keep moving forward.
Jefferson Phillips from Costa Rica is studying computer science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.