“Welcome to college. Good grades, social life, enough sleep. Pick two.“ An urban legend that is spreading like wildfire among college freshmen and haunting them at night. If only they noticed the sophomores´ chuckles as they plan the next party, if only they knew that all the three pieces of a college puzzle can go together.
At first college may seem rather like Mission: Impossible due to many factors such as new responsibilities, a huge amount of workload, a (seemingly) illogical schedule or a statistics professor who apparently does not speak any human language. Being stressed and insomniac becomes acceptable,sleeping less and having all exercises done becomes even a matter of personal prestige and social status. “You can sleep when you are dead” is always a handy condescending response.
Fortunately, just as Mr. Stein might put it: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.“ This might sound trivial, yet it usually takes many weeks until the freshmen realize the underlying wisdom that they can sometimes have their cake and eat it too. Before they do, their (cirrhotic) livers stand a chance of regeneration.
Since time just flies (especially before the first mid-term exams), basic human needs slowly induce the students to learn to plan their studies as well as fit a late-night party and afternoon sleep between two lectures and one tutorial. What as first looked like defying laws of physics (provided that you did not have Hermione´s time-turner) became sweet college reality.
As a matter of fact, successful students who do “have a life” need to stick to only three simple rules:
1. No Facebook*. At least not before exams or homework deadlines. Right?
2. Sadly, lectures are not a good substitute for a good night´s sleep. Correct, not even History of philosophy, no matter how boring it may be. Having good notes saves valuable time when cramming (let´s face it, nobody studies much in advance) for an exam.
3. If housework takes up a large percentage of your free time, you are probably doing something wrong. Quick tips:
- Do not iron everything. Your mother won´t check.
- Delegate work. (Which might be problematic if you live on your own.)
- Multitask (even if you are male). Sweep the floor while cooking – or simply do not sit in front of a washing machine… (video – 6:30)
- Don´t be a perfectionist. It eats up time and the (visible) benefit is close to zero.
Your professor who – for the millionth time – moans “It´s the graphs, stupid!“ actually has a point: It´s the planning, procrastinator!
*Applies to Twitter, gaming sites or anything else which is irrelevant for the studies. Which means that this rule does not apply – for example – for this video (if you study economics):