How to Stay Focused

Nicole Root graduated from Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) with duel B.B.A.’s in 2012. She double majored in Marketing and Business Management with a focus on Entrepreneurship. She’s originally from Connecticut, and is currently working in Advertising. She has plans to relocate out west and to start her own marketing consultation business.

My first semester at WCSU was full of fresh opportunities, new friends, and unfamiliar distractions to me. It was an adjustment getting used to living on campus, being in the hub for exciting events, extracurricular activities, and dorm parties. All of this was new to me and I eagerly wanted to be a part of everything, and found it a challenge to manage my time effectively. I was flexible with my time in the beginning of the semester and didn’t stick to a regimented schedule initially.
Most of my courses were in the morning and early afternoon, and I would study and do my homework inbetween classes. I soon began a part-time internship which was right after my last class of the day. The internship was a great opportunity to have hands on experience with my chosen major. I soon learned from my experience that marketing was a lot different on the job than it was through text books and exams. Suddenly I was creating my own marketing campaigns and newsletters; I was also solely in charge of all of the social media. Often my work assignments would last outside of designated work hours, and I had a hard time leaving my job at work. I began posting, emailing and creating campaigns inbetween classes and when I got home at night time.
My course work began to pile on as midterms were fast approaching, I was worrying about my internship and studying for exams throughout my day at night. I also tried to maintain a social life, and joined our school’s marketing club. I began missing meetings quickly after joining due to demanding assignments at school and work. I felt distracted all the time and my performance soon began to suffer. When I was once getting A’s on assignments I soon saw myself getting B’s nd C’s. I noticed there was also less traffic to the company’s website that I interned for and saw I was getting a lower response rate on our social media. I practically lost my social life as I felt like I didn’t have time to see anyone, and during the rare occasion when I did, I appeared mentally absent. I felt exhausted and like I just needed to lock myself in my dorm and finish all of my assignments.
After getting some much needed rest, I came up with an action plan to help me make it through this first semester. I divided up my time and began to adhere to a strict schedule to keep myself on track and to keep distractions to a minimum. I decided that inbetween classes I would study and finish assignments, and that I would worry about work related assignments and responding to emails when I first woke up in the morning. I would finish any uncompleted assignments and studying when I got home at night, and I would only see friends on weekends if I had enough time. My performance both in the classroom and at the office began to improve. I saw my grades improve and even got better feedback at work. My social life also improved because instead of blowing people off during the week, I would only make plans with friends on the weekends when my schedule allowed for it. After learning how to effectively manage my time this first semester, it helped to propel me towards success in following semesters.

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