Ask Becca: Oct. 6, 2016

By Rebecca Rue
Opinion Editor

*Sending advice your way to deal with your dates, deadlines, and dorm mates every week*

Dear Becca,

I have been struggling this semester to get all of my assignments done and it is getting worse now with projects, papers, and also midterms next week. Do you have any advice or tips?

Organizational Hazard

Dear Organizational Hazard,

I can completely relate. College is overwhelming, and unless you take complete control over your experience, struggling and increased stress are inevitable.

Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman, in their article “Top 12 Time-Management Tips,” suggest, “Block your courses. If you take your courses back to back as much as possible, you’ll have larger blocks of time to devote to concerted bouts of studying.”

Even though you can’t do anything about this advice now, I want to start here because it is an important idea for the future.

We don’t always have a choice when making our schedules, but don’t purposefully spread your classes out.

It is hard to repeatedly get into the groove and concentrate during the day when you keep getting distracted.

Jacobs and Hyman also advise, “Aim to make all the classes. When you miss class, it takes much more time to learn the material you missed than it would have taken if you went to class in the first place.”

There is nothing better for you than hearing a teacher’s explanation of a topic, especially if the class you are taking is difficult. Also, depending on the teacher, there can be hints about what they will include on your tests.

Beth Dumbauld in her article, “8 Time Management Tips For Adult College Students,” suggests, “Sleep. Be Healthy. Stress reduces performance, as does lack of sleep. Be sure to get enough of both.”

This advice is important despite the harsh reality that sometimes it is impossible. There are days when we cannot get enough sleep because of the list of things that we have to get done, and that can’t be helped. And then if we don’t, we pay for it the next day in the speed with which we get things done.

It is a vicious cycle, but it is important that you do your best to eliminate distractions or impediments when you know that your day is going to be particularly rough. Sleep when you can, wherever you can, and do your best to eat healthy food and reduce your junk food intake.

Dumbauld also advises, “Know Yourself. Schedule highest priority tasks when you do your best work. Morning person or night owl- know who you are.”

Knowing when you best operate is important. No matter what the task is or how tired I am, I always function better later in the day. Which time frame is better for you? Once you know, then you can work around your schedule and commitments in order to find the best fit for all of your tasks.

For more tips and suggestions, visit both Lynn F. Jacobs’s and Jeremy S. Hyman’s article, “Top 12 Time-Management Tips” on, and Beth Dumbauld’s article, “8 Time Management Tips For Adult College Students” on

I wish you luck Organizational Hazard, especially with your midterms next week.

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