Tips to Reduce Stress and Increase Success

5 tips for staying on top of things this semester

Here is a list of new tips to succeed this semester!

Classwork and events are starting to roll in at this point in the semester. You now have assignments due every other day with a test and a quiz to top the week off. Fantastic. No worries! Whether this is your first college experience, or you’ve been in the game for a while, these tips will boost your organization and prioritization skills. Below is a list of tips you can work into your routine (or build a routine) to reduce your stress levels and execute those assignments and exams.

Planner Illustration

Tip #1 – Keep a Daily Planner

Keep all your assignments and events aligned all in one place with a planner as soon as you hear about them to avoid forgetting it later. It can be a physical planner or a digital one from the app store or online. Mark events and due dates in your planner as a reminder of what’s coming up in the next few days. You can also pencil in your weekly routine like your class schedule, work, or personal events to help visualize when you’re free and when you’re busy.

List Illustration

Tip #2 – Make a Weekly To-Do List- and Don’t Forget About it!

To keep multiple assignments prioritized, make a to-do list for the week in order of the due dates. Keep this list in an area where you work and display it somewhere you can always see it to avoid forgetting about it like on a bulletin board, a monitor, the wall in front of your desk, etc. Now, the days of forgetting something or waking up to a late assignment are all over thanks to your keen prioritizing skills!

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Tip #3 – Coordinate Your Notes and Handouts for Class

The easiest way to keep your notes, syllabi, and any other important information for classes or work organized is to color coordinate them. This can also be done online within digital folders or note-taking programs on your computer. Different colored highlighters, pens, folders, tabs, and notebooks make it easy to color coordinate your different classes. This can also be applied to your planner to keep things separated. Now, you’ll not only have your tasks prioritized, but you’ll also know exactly where every one of your notes and handouts is- because you’ve got it together.

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Tip #4 – Make a Place for Sudden Thoughts

Even though the things you write down are all in line, sometimes we have ideas that are sudden and in the moment. Keep a place handy for “brain dump” notes. When you have an idea for your next project, a quote you found interesting, or a resource you want to check out later make sure you write (or type) it down! This can be on a (virtual) sticky note that you stick to your wall (or desktop), a space in your planner, or in a separate notebook or document dedicated to your “brain dump”. Your future self will thank you later, trust me.

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Tip #5 – Plan Ahead of Time

This may sound like something we hear all the time, but it means well. Blocking off some downtime to look at your schedule for the week and prepping the night before will help you avoid stressful situations in the long run. Have a presentation tomorrow? Run through your slides the night before to present flawlessly. Minimize your worries by working on it beforehand and make sure to look assignments over before turning it in. Do this as often as possible and you’ll find yourself executing the rest of the week like a true boss.

Practice will be your best friend along your college journey and taking large tasks one step at a time will make your workload less intimidating. You’ve got this. We hope you found these tips useful and hope you can utilize them in your routines!


By Nueka Lo '21, from the College of Arts & Media, Portfolio

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