Remember in high school when you were able to balance a seven-hour work day, after-school sports, and clubs? Once you got to college, having two classes in a day seemed like a drag, right? And now in an ongoing pandemic, doesn’t it feel like every day is a new schedule, between asynchronous and hybrid classes? If you can relate to any of this, you are not alone. Here are some tips and tricks to get yourself back on track, and to find your “new normal” here at Boston College.
Get a daily planner.
Some people love them. Others hate them. Whether you like a digital planner or a physical one you can pencil in, planners serve as a great visual to plan out your day-to-day activities. The most ideal planners are ones where you can have space to write in assignments for each of your classes on a daily basis, as well as spaces for jobs and other extracurricular activities. My personal favorite is from Plum Paper, where you can customize the most nitty gritty details of your planner, from the cover to inserting your class names. Some other great companies for paper planners include Anthropologie, Agendio, and Golden Coil (a bit on the pricier side). If you prefer to have your day planned out on your laptop, MyStudyLife and Google Calendar are great tools. Other stellar applications you can download on your smartphone include Things 3, Awesome Calendar, and ZenDay.
Find your “happy place” study spot for the season (or a few!)
You can only do work in your room for so long before it feels like the walls are caving in. It’s important to switch up your study surroundings—it allows for a fresh mind and potentially some inspiration. For the past couple of weeks, which have been filled with phenomenal weather, students have flocked to outdoor settings such as Lower, Hillside, outside of O’Neill, and general lawns across campus. Some benefits to studying outside—while we still can—include fresh air, sunlight, and being surrounded by others (with masks on, of course). When it gets a bit chillier out, some neat places include your residence hall’s lounge, the bridge on the second floor of Stokes, and the Rat.
Make sure you allot time for all three meals.
As the adage goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”—but for a stressed college student, lunch and dinner are equally as important. If you have back-to-back classes in the afternoon that occupy what would usually be your lunch time, make sure to prepare some snacks to quickly chow down in those 15 minutes between classes. Some fan favorites around campus are Nature Valley granola bars, Think bars, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola, and more—the options are endless. Just a friendly reminder, coming from someone who has missed breakfast due to the new hours, the dining hall hours of operation have changed drastically. For Lower, Mac, and Stuart, the hours go as follows: 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. for breakfast, 11:00 to 3:30 p.m. for lunch, and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. for dinner. If you really plan your day ahead, you can also use the GET Mobile app to order food and drinks and pick them up at either Addie’s or Eagle’s Nest.
Make time for the things you love to do.
As cliché as it sounds, it is so important to make time for the things that make you happy, and make it a point to implement them as a staple in your schedule. Budgeting time may feel wildly overwhelming, but it is extremely beneficial to set aside an hour or two to give your mind a break. Even if it is as simple as getting dinner at El Pelón Taqueria, or squeezing in some last minute runs around the Reservoir before it gets too cold, there are many perks to having activities in your schedule that you are excited about. Not only will they enhance your overall college experience—there’s more to college than academics—they will also motivate you to get your work done in a timely manner. Some other things I love to do include working out with the Workout for Women app, meditating with the Headspace app, making friendship bracelets, and sending them all around the world, and even just tidying up my room.