I’ve found out that a very good way to get by in college is by making lists. A list of homework assignments, a list of upcoming quizzes/tests you need to study for, a list of organizations you want to join, a list of social events you’re attending, a list of everything. Otherwise, all of those dates and assignments are going to be floating about inside your head. It’s going to seem impossible to make them hold still without another one disappearing.
Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but lists are still pretty helpful. Once you get your lists down, the next best step is to incorporate them into your calendar (whether that be physical or electronic). That way you have everything in one place, and you never have to worry about scheduling two things at the same time or completely forgetting about other things.
During my small group discussions for the Hawk Leadership Institute, we always begin by listing the highs (good things) and lows (not so good things) of our week. It’s a chance to complain, but it’s also a nice way to make ourselves appreciate the little positive things in our lives.
Let’s take a look at my personal lists of events during my week, arranged from lowest to highest:
- The Patio Café was closed all of last Friday, Sept. 11, and there weren’t any food trucks. It was quite a sad day.
- I somehow already used 75% of my data. I have to rely solely on Wi-Fi from now on.
- I had a quiz in Texas Government that I might have failed (or I might have passed…)
- I got a 94/100 on my first essay of the semester.
- I volunteered for Mutts and Meows Animal Rescue as a dog walker/kitten caretaker.
- I got to experience the masterpiece that is the 1989 World Tour from the very front row. (Taylor Swift is bae, am I right?)
Organizing With Lists
You know what’s also great about lists? They’re an excellent way to get things done. Just a few days ago I was feeling overwhelmed by all the things I had to do. I felt like things just kept piling up. I felt like they were burying me deeper and deeper, and stressing me out even more. So I made a list, writing down all the things I had to do. In parenthesis I’d write how long it would take me to accomplish the task. I realized that some of the tasks took a whole lot less time to finish than others. I did those first. I went down the list, going from the tasks that took shorter time to accomplish up to the ones that took longer. In this way, I was able to finish the easiest/quickest things immediately, leaving me with fewer things to worry about. It relieved a ton of my stress.
Now, I know lists probably aren’t for everyone. They’ve been making my college experience run smoother, so I thought I’d share. Of course, if the stress of school, homework or anything else is too overwhelming, there are expert counselors on campus who can help you better than a list can. It’s important to remember that mental health always comes before schoolwork. That might be something you’re not used to hearing in high school, but it’s still something you’ve always got to keep in mind.
Hope you had a great week, Hawks! Until next time.