As we start a new year and a new semester it’s important to revisit those habits and behaviors that have made you successful or challenged you in the past. Here are some tips for veterans who are starting their first semester of college or are continuing into a new semester.
- Set a semester budget: Grabbing a coffee or a snack on your way to class can add up and make a major dent in your wallet. Set a weekly budget for snacks you may want on campus. It might be helpful to look at how much you are spending on transportation costs, too. Ridesharing with a friend means one parking pass and less fuel and car maintenance costs.
- Synch up your schedules: Keeping a schedule that works for you as an adult student can be one of the toughest challenges of college life. Make sure your schedule is posted in your home or shared with those in your household. Keep an online schedule or a planner with dates, times, and due dates is a good idea.
- Create a supportive routine: It will only benefit your physical and mental health if you have a set routine for at least one part of your day. If you like drinking coffee in the morning while you plan out your day; work that into a daily routine. Maybe you like a few hours of video games in the evening to unwind. If you plan your day; you can do all the things you enjoy and still have time to study, go to school, be with family, and work.
- Grade track: There are several online and app-based grade trackers but, the easiest one is to open your phone’s notes app. Grade tracking helps keep you accountable for your semester goals.
- Plan large projects early: Most end-of-semester projects are assigned during the first week of class. Set aside time each week to prepare for projects. It may be just looking over the project rubric and jotting down ideas, but those small actions will pay off.
- Know your limits: Sometimes, we get overwhelmed or push ourselves too hard. It’s bound to happen with a busy schedule and so many commitments coming your way. Have a plan for those times when you feel exhausted. It’s ok to take a power nap, take the time to meet with friends for a planned amount of time, or schedule some time to do something you enjoy. Mental health suffers when work/life/rest gets out of balance.
It’s bound to be another eventful semester. If mental health becomes an issue for you, please reach out to your university’s counseling/wellness center. If you are at UCO contact UCO: Center for Counseling and Well-Being