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Moira Keating is a human resources marketing/employee engagement intern at Milliner & Associates. She will graduate from Marian University in December 2018. 

Anyone who has met a college student, knows college can be is stressful. Trying to find the perfect balance between schoolwork, clubs, friends, jobs, athletics, family and more can really take a toll on a person. Most college students do not hesitate to let others know how much homework they have this week or how little sleep they got last night by posting it to all social media platforms. I am not mad about this, since I too have posted about my busy schedule, but I have realized there are ways to avoid these posts.

ACTUALLY PAYING ATTENTION IN CLASS: This should be a pretty simple rule to follow, since most of us are paying to be in that chair, but the constant advancements of technology can sometimes get distracting. Hiding behind the laptop screen is fairly simple during class, since the professor can’t tell if you’re writing notes or stalking someone on Facebook. Professors want to see you do well and, in my experience, will drop hints about a topic that will MOST LIKELY be on the exam. But, if you’re not listening during class, you could miss these important hints. My advice is to put your phone and laptop away for a class and see how much knowledge you can absorb.

HANDLING YOUR DISTRACTIONS WISELY: Everyone has different habits when it comes to studying. Some people have to be in an absolutely silent room, while others like to study in group settings. I personally like to study alone, but need music playing in the background. I either write my notes by hand or print out notes I typed, so I am not distracted by my laptop. My phone is put on silent while I memorize the essential information and I place it across the room. I will be the first to admit that it’s easy to be distracted, but you have to figure out what works best for you. Allot a time frame to work on projects and don’t let anything/anyone distract you during this time period.

PRIORITIZING: Trust me, I know when it seems like doing everything is a good idea, but there are limits. Do things that will help advance areas of your life you are particularly excited about! If you have a huge test coming up and can’t make your book club meeting (this happened to me once!) it’s not the end of the world. Give the other members a proper warning and I know for a fact they will understand. You should figure out how much you can really put on your plate before committing!

GIVING YOURSELF A BREAK:  I don’t, by any means, want someone to take this as skipping class. What I mean by this is after you take a test, finish a group project or give a presentation you’ve been stressing about, do something for you. Hang out with friends, see a movie, go to a park or attend a festival. Do something that makes you happy, not something you have to do because a professor or boss is expecting. Enjoy the conversations you are having with people and remember you have things like this to look forward to in the future when you’re feeling extremely stressed! In my opinion, these small breaks are what make everything worth it and definitely calm you down.

College is a hard time and our limits are put to the test A LOT, but it is important to remember why you are there. Find a great support system in college- whether that be friends, professors, classmates, or family and learn from them. Never forget to take time for yourself when you need it and enjoy all the experiences you are learning from, since they will only help with your career in the future!

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