No, no, Glen Coco: What not to do as a freshman on a college campus

[Columns, letters or cartoons published are the work of the attributed author and do not necessarily represent the official views or opinions of “The Highland Echo.”]

Now that classes are winding down, life is winding up! Term papers are due left and right, finals are just around the corner and I feel like I just had the entire menu at Isaac’s. If it feels like a whirlwind of obligations now, I can only imagine what it will be like to throw senior thesis in the mix!

Just about everyone has something major going on or coming up soon, and it’s not hard to lose track of your free time. Heck, I use almost all my free time for naps and then my schedule becomes especially discombobulated. Having taken some time today to just sit and read, I realized what I really needed to write this column about. With only a couple more weeks to go, I see one “don’t” as far more important than all the rest. Don’t forget to enjoy your free time.

For all the professors reading this, let me assure you that I am not condoning procrastination by any means. On the contrary, I am proposing that everyone be extra proactive and formulate an hour-by-hour schedule for the day, dictating class schedule, what time Bonner hours need to be completed, how long each assignment should reasonably take and when you will allow yourself free time.

In fact, Uber Facts—which, to me, is all the way up there with Wikipedia among the most useful sources of information available—tells us that the most effective way to study is in 45 minute sessions with 15 minute breaks in between. Now, I’m not entirely sure if that is the tactic for me, and it may not be for you, either, but it does allow time to relax your brain and actually comprehend knowledge.

During that break, you can even add something else to your list of to-dos. Enjoying your free time doesn’t always correlate with counter-productivity. You could take the time to clip your nails if you haven’t in a while or do a couple crunches to get in exercise for swimsuit season, both of which will eliminate obligations to take care of later and will help you feel less overwhelmed in the long run.

You could even use that time to give a quick phone call to your family. You know Mom will want to talk for a while and your study schedule will give you an excuse to cut the conversation short. She will understand. After all, she’s probably the one paying the bill, and she, of all people, wants you to do well.

If that isn’t the style of studying you prefer, and you are inundated with work to such a degree that you cannot allow yourself any free time, take a shower. It’s procrastination in the disguise of productivity because you are maintaining your hygiene. A shower can also hydrate your sinuses and improve stress-based sinus infections or seasonal allergies. Many people do some of their best thinking in the shower.

Plus, you will be confirmed in knowing that the foul odor lingering in your section of desks isn’t you. It’s someone who forgot to schedule a shower.

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