College life freshman year

Hayley is an English major and Television, Films and New Media minor at San Diego State University. She is a senior about ready to graduate in spring. She writes for The Daily Aztec in the Entertainment section and absolutely loves it. Being a San Diego/Southern California native she has a never ending love for the beach and sun, along with a slight (really a huge) obsession with Disney. Her passions include storytelling, writing, film and theater, and video games. She dreams of one day working with films, while writing on the side, and using her imagination for her daily job.

Pop quizzes, pop essays, surprise class write ups about the book you read the night before or those horrifying exams that you study weeks for and still only do “OK” in them. As a sophomore, this seems like the endless and painful torture that your teachers are putting you through for their own sadistic enjoyment. But, even if we wish that, that was the reason, it isn’t (in most cases). That torture is the training method the teachers are putting you through, to prepare you for your upper division classes. These are the classes where teachers pile on a book a week, forty page readings every night, mountains of problems (for those math related majors that I shudder to think of what your teachers put you through), or ask you to watch a three hour movie at some point, even though you have no clue when you’re going to fit that movie into your schedule.
As a senior, I am so glad my teachers put me through hell as a freshman and sophomore, training me for what was to come because it helped me budget my time like a check book. My advice, learn from the easy, lower level classes, where it seems like all that work is just busy work. In truth, it might be, but that busy work is going to teach you how to manage your time, both with your job and with homework. Here are a couple pointers:
1. Before the semester begins, make a spreadsheet with your entire schedule, both class and work times, to see when you’re going to have time to do homework (and sneak in a trip to the gym if you find release by making your muscles burn). Once you see when you have available time for homework, you’ll be able to judge when you’ll have time to meet with group members for projects, or just work on homework that you have for classes.
2. GET A PLANNER! I know, this sounds like a huge OCD problem, but get some kind of planner, whether you use an app on your phone or tablet or have an actual hard copy planner, and write you assignments on it. I use the method of writing when everything is due on the month calendar so I know when I need the assignments to be done, and then when it comes to the weekly calendar pages, I tend to put the assignment on the day I want to get it done. You can do it anyway that makes you feel organized, but having everything down so you can look at it and plan out when you’re going to do the work, helps you keep all the crazy amounts of assignments organized.
There are so many tricks to keeping up with the insane workload that instructors give you, and whether you do it all last minute, or do it weeks in advance, it gets easier. Yes, there is still a huge workload as a junior and a senior, sometimes even more than when you were a freshman and sophomore, but use that time to train yourself and get into a rhythm of how you want to do things, and when you want to have time to play video games or go shopping, instead of being stuck at home all the time, having to catch up and make sure our homework is done last minute.

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