8 Must Learn Time Management Skills for Freshman Year

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Transitioning from high school to college can be tricky. Where the differences really add up is in your schedule and the new freedom you are allotted. Many, unfortunately, fall in the trap of not having enough personal time management skills to self-navigate. Get yourself started on the right foot by practicing these eight tips and tricks for managing your time wisely.

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1.   Give Yourself 20

An evening devoted to studying one subject or working on just one project is not anyone’s cup of tea. In fact, concentrating too hard or spending so much time on a single task can lead to boredom, frustration, or even a loss of concentration. If you’re going for quality, try limiting your intense work periods to 20 minutes. During that 20 minutes, turn off any and all distractions (including your phone) and hone in on the task at hand. Once your time is up, give yourself a 5-10 minute break to let your mind recover and prepare for the next round.

2.   Cross it Off

Having a to-do list is a must during freshman year. With so much to keep track of, you’ll want to ensure you stay on top of every homework assignment and every meeting. Plus, with managing your dorm on top of your academic work, you may find yourself bogged down. However, when you can write down your actionable list, you can start to put the pieces together. The best way to write a to-do list is to first write everything you can think of down first with its due date on it. Then, order the due dates from soonest to latest (or rolling). Your new list should start with everything due immediately, then add in the most important or time consuming agenda items followed by those that can be left until the end.

3.   Utilize Technology

When you tote around a laptop or tablet to class, you’ll want your time management helpers in one, easy to access place. Sites like Google and applications like Do It (Tomorrow) give you everything you need at the touch of a finger. Try online calendars, documents you can collaborate on with friends, and weekly planner apps to see what works for your routines.

4.   Keep the Big Picture in Mind

It’s easy to get stuck on the day-to-day, but sometimes having the overall goal in mind can keep you motivated. For example, if you must pass your history class to be accepted into your major program, remind yourself of that frequently. If your goal is to stay in shape during the winter semester, try making an inspiration or vision board that you can hang over your desk or on a wall. Knowing that all of the little things you do will add up and enable you to make the right choices throughout the school year.

5.   Study with Friends

Many college professors encourage students to team up and conquer the subject. Study groups make the extra effort more enjoyable and many report being able to memorize data faster when they are in the company of others.

6.   Make it a Habit

Researchers say that it takes 21 consistent days to make something a habit. That could be working out at the student gym, practicing an instrument, studying for a class, or having homework time. Keep that in mind whenever you are starting a new routine. It will get easier and it will seem just part of your natural habits when you do it long enough.

7.   Find the Perfect Work Space

Where you work makes a huge difference in how much gets accomplished. Find a space that is well lit (preferably with natural light), is quiet, and has comfortable seating. Studying outdoors is a great option, but be sure that you can actually get work done.

8.   Reward Yourself

Successfully navigating your freshman year requires dedication and hard work. By starting a good study and work routine, while seeking out study groups, work spaces, and schedules that work for you; you can rock your first semester of school. Once your exams are up or you have passed that test, don’t be afraid to let your hair down and enjoy a little treat. After all, developing time management skills that work for you is always something to celebrate.

How do you plan to manage your precious time this year? Let us know in the comments!

College 101: Debunking the College Packing List

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Packing for college can be hard, stressful and completely overwhelming. So what do most of us do? We find a premade college checklist that says “this is the stuff you NEED”, and I’m here to tell you how it really is. We’re going to debunk that college packing list so you know EXACTLY what you need.

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1. First things first, once you pick your housing, find out the layout. Most school’s ResLife sites have layouts (with dimensions) of all their different room types. Knowing the layout and size of your room is going to make narrowing down what you need so much easier.

2. Furnished or unfurnished? Most freshman dorms, actually most on-campus living arrangements, come fully furnished. Find out things like what size bed you get (usually an extra long twin), what’s the closet situation, what pieces of furniture are provided and what kind of appliances are allowed.

I picked up an Oklahoma State packing list from Bed, Bath & Beyond so I can pick on my own school. Let’s get to debunking.

One thing I’ve noticed on many “must bring” lists is pieces of furniture. Now I don’t know what every college’s dorms look like, but in my experience you barely have enough room for the pieces they provide you with! So forget about the night stand, bulky floor lamp, extra chairs, etc.

But don’t forget about storage. Finding nifty ways to store things like kitchen utensils, school supplies, accessories and extra little bits are key! Under bed storage, floor storage in your closet space and drawer organization are all great things to remember when packing.

So there you go! If you’re feeling a little worrisome about packing up for the big move get online and find yourself a list and get to debunking!!

Have any tips I missed? Let me know!!

xoxo, emily

Check out OCM’s own packing list here!

Three Pieces of Advice for Incoming College Freshman

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With my senior year fast approaching, I’m feeling all sorts of emotions. It’s crazy how fast time has gone by, and I reflect back to my early college days on how far I’ve come in almost 4 years.

There are a lot of things I did my freshman year that helped me make friends and succeed in my studies. With move in day right around the corner, I figured I’d share my best pieces of advice for incoming freshman:

1. Get to know your floor mates

When you move into your dorm, make an effort to get to know the people living on your floor. Either go door-to-door to introduce yourself or introduce yourself at the 1st floor meeting. It’s really your first opportunity to meet new people.  And if you and your roommate don’t turn out to be best friends, you have other people nearby you can hang out with. One of the best friends I made in college lived across the hall from me. If I had not been involved with floor activities, I would not have made such a lasting and wonderful friendship.

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2. Join at least 1 club

Clubs are a great way to explore something new and make more friends with similar interests. If you are attending a big school it helps make the campus feel a lot smaller because you have a group of people to relate to. For me, I decided to join a sorority on campus. Though it can be a nerve racking process, in the end it worked out! Joining a sorority gave me the opportunity to build friendships across the entire Greek community. Whether you decide to join Greek Life is totally up to you! Either way, make a point to join a club whether it be a sports club, an art club, or a squirrel lovers club. Get involved, you won’t be disappointed!

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3. Make friends in your major

Having friends as resources to study and work on assignments with will make your life infinitely easier. It also ensures that you will always have someone to sit with in class; which might just making a boring class a little bit more fun!

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There are probably a million other pieces of advice I could give you as you get ready to start your college career, but these are just a couple key things to keep in mind as you anxiously await move in day. Wishing all you incoming freshmen the best of luck!

Cheers.

Also if you are a female interested in going Greek or are unsure if you’d like to do so, feel free to contact me with any questions at justmeeshblog@gmail.com. I’ve been on all sides of the recruitment process and am happy to give advice or answer any questions you may have about the process.