Good advice for college freshmen

Abigail Schmit was the fourth and final child from her family to graduate from Indiana University. In May 2014 she completed her Bachelors Degree in Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management. She now works as an independent contractor for Executive Travel Directors—an event staffing company. Her hobbies include traveling, reading/writing, and spending time with loved ones.

My biggest enemy in college? Procrastination. Sure, I procrastinated in high school and maybe even junior high but it was never really a problem until I attended college. For me, school came easy. I got straight A’s in high school and even got a decent SAT score. However, when I got to college it was a whole new ballgame. There were new people, new living quarters, new places to party, and a whole new workload.
I started out my first week of college with a handy planner that was color coded and organized more meticulously than a doctor’s office. The second week rolled around and I was still in pretty good shape with my course work with the exception of a few unread chapters in psychology.
And then it happened: my first big assignment. The third week of my W131 class, we were given an assignment to read and assess an RFP (Request For Proposal) by the next class time. Easy enough, I thought. So I put it off for the rest of the week. The weekend came and went and I still had not looked over the material. Monday morning I picked up the assignment and looked over it thoroughly. Come to find out, it was a lot more extensive than I realized and it was due on Tuesday. I got to work on it right away and ended up skipping one of my classes and not participating in our weekly Criminal Minds night with my dorm mates. This was not devastating by any means, but it was only the start of a long first semester.
After that week, I vowed to stop procrastinating and be more serious about my schooling. And for a few weeks I did just that. Every morning I would get my planner out and try to start assignments ahead of time. I was on a roll. But then football season came and tailgates became a regular event that usually lasted all of Saturday with a Sunday of recovering. Those two days were great for studying but all of a sudden were booked with other activities that now had my attention.
When football season was close to ending, I began calculating the grades I would have to get on my next exams and final presentations to pass my classes. It ended up stressing me out because I had a lot of studying to do if I didn’t want to take some of my classes a second time.
So I took myself to the library and studied as much as I could during those last couple weeks of my first semester. Finals week came and I ended up passing all my classes with all B’s. But that’s only after I stayed up all night studying, not hanging out with friends, drinking coffee, feeling jittery and tired all at the same time, just so that I could learn all the stuff that I was supposed to have learned throughout the entire semester.
If I were to give advice to myself as a freshman, knowing what I know now, it would be to plan ahead. I know it’s all new and fun and you just want to do everything with everyone but the more you set aside time for your studies when they need to be done, the more time you will have with your friends. It’s all about balance and that can be one of the hardest things to accomplish but once you do, you will be less stressed and college can be everything you hoped.

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