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Starting college means that a whole new world is opening up for you – you’re most probably having your first flavor of independence, you’re meeting new friends and trying to balance fun and hard work so that your grades don’t suffer and you actually have time to taste your newfound freedom. Should you fail at creating a functional work-life balance at this point, things will quickly start to pile up, causing stress, anxiety, lack of motivation and tons of regret. Fortunately, there are certain skills you can master that will definitely help you manage your time well enough in order for you to go through your college years stress-free and pass your exams with flying colors.

Organizational Skills

It often seems there are too few hours in a day to do all that we had planned. Managing your time effectively will relieve the pressure and enable you to do all that’s necessary with time to spare. Not only will you get a sense of accomplishment, but of personal control as well.

1. Unclutter Your Working Area

Just looking at a chaotic desk may make you edgy. You have tight deadlines, barely enough time to study and now your desk needs tidying up. Wasted time that could be put to better use. Instead of nervously sorting out all the wanted and unwanted papers, try to clear it up after every study session, which will not take up nearly as much time as you would waste sorting everything out or being distracted by loose notes. A printer often tends to take up much space, and if you can’t sort out a problematic printer on your own, clear it away until you have time to have it serviced. If it is a wireless variety, storing it on a shelf would be ideal.

2. Prioritize

There are inevitably going to be several projects requiring your attention at the same time, and listing them all will make it much easier to evaluate. Once you prioritize projects and preferably allocate some time to do them, keep your list handy, either on paper or electronically and update accordingly. This will prevent having to do several extensive tasks all at once which always results in poor quality work.

3. Use a Calendar

Your calendar isn’t just for tasks, notes, and tests – you can use it for keeping track of social events as well. By having an updated calendar schedule you can reduce the stress of trying to remember important events, as well as eliminate the fear of consequences of not getting things done. Thanks to a number of available apps, there is no longer a need for post-it notes and scraps of paper with phone numbers or other important information you’re frantically searching your pockets for. It doesn’t really matter whether your calendar is electronic or not. However, if it is, you are then able to set convenient reminders thus making sure you won’t forget what you need to do.

Motivational Skills

Very often the stress adds up and you just wish you could shut down and rest without any consequences. If work, and college lifestyle in general, becomes overwhelming, students very often get demotivated and therefore fall behind on their schedules. In this case, motivation is essential in order to stay focused and on top of things.

1. Self-Motivation

It’s not at all easy to keep yourself motivated, and sometimes giving up seems like the easiest way out. However, you shouldn’t ever take the easy way out. Set aside some time to study and stick to that schedule. You will feel better and guilt-free if you accomplish a certain amount of work each day. You mustn’t forget your end goal – the degree and career advancement, and work towards it knowing you are strong enough not to give up on your dream.

2. Motivation Among Fellow Students

Engaging with other students can immensely increase the sense of motivation. Study groups are often beneficial in the sense that students can exchange experiences, opinions, and perspectives, as well as keep each other interested and motivated for extended periods of time spent studying. Online discussions and social network groups create even greater communities in which many find much-needed support or solutions to issues they have not managed to resolve themselves.

There is much to learn at college, but not all of that knowledge can be found inside a classroom. There’s a certain level of maturity to be reached while keeping the grades up and having a fun social life as well. Practicing good organizational and motivational skills will definitely take the pressure off, and leave some spare time for leisure too.