1. Enjoy your time at home - take breaks from schoolwork
I live about an hour-and-a-half away from home, and some weekends I would visit home for family events or see friends. The first few times I visited home, I would bring my laptop and schoolwork. This became annoying because I would still feel like I was at school. So, I decided to get all my schoolwork done before I would visit home, so that way I could enjoy my time at home stress-free. Going home for me meant I had time to relax and enjoy myself without feeling like I had schoolwork to do. These mini-breaks would help a lot.
2. Get involved and try things you normally wouldn't
I knew I wanted to explore and get out of my comfort zone when I moved to NYC. I made sure to say 'yes' more often, talk to new people, and explore the big city when I could. Trying new things opens your mind to exciting hobbies or new favorite foods. Getting involved on campus, or in an exciting club that sounds fun, is another way to try new things. This involvement opens doors to meet new people and network. After class, if you have an hour to spare, walk around the city and check out the area. Visit SoHo or Brooklyn and try a restaurant with some friends.
3. If you need extended deadlines, just ask
This doesn't apply for every professor, but I have been lucky to have very understanding professors who get how busy students can be. If you can't finish an assignment on time, talk to your professor. Asking for help with projects, assignments, and deadlines is better than not submitting your work. Many professors know that freshman year is a little chaotic in terms of figuring everything out.
4. Your planner is your best friend (jobs, internships, school work deadlines, events, volunteer)
A planner will save your life. If you're not used to writing plans down, writing down what needs to be done for the week, and putting deadlines for assignments in your calendar, now is the time to learn. It is easy to fall behind and forget small tasks that need to be done or assignments online that have to be submitted by Friday. By using a planner, checking it daily, and updating it, you will ensure you are getting everything you need to get done on time. Everyone uses a planner differently. I would color-code mine between my two jobs, school work, and then extra activities like volunteering and hanging out with friends. I also keep a list of assignments I had to complete every week and write deadlines next to each one. When I finish each assignment, I cross it out.
5. Actually read the syllabus
In high school, I would never read my syllabus. There was never information in it I found useful, and I knew my teachers would remind me of everything provided in there. In college, your professor won't remind you about every assignment that needs to be turned in. The syllabus normally contains very useful information like when finals and midterms occur and how different assignments affect your overall grade. I recommend reading them all and saving them to refer back to throughout the semester.
6. It is okay to feel overwhelmed
Schoolwork can pile up fast. You might also have a job and maybe an internship. Things can get tough for many, and having friends that are there for you is important. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, and it is okay to feel stressed. Taking it day-by-day helps, and eventually things will get better. LIM College also provides us with free counseling if we ever need someone to talk to or help with anything. Click here to read about the personal counseling that our college provides.