School is back in session, and nonstop homework is just around the corner. While these first few weeks will be easier than later in the semester, it’s imperative to get ahead of the game and keep up on your assignments. Staying stress-free and keeping everything in check is the name of the game, and here are 6 tips on how to do it:

1. Schedule out your work

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Once you figure out your workload for the semester, you should make sure to schedule out your studying for a given week. Figure out the times that work best for you, whether it’s early in the morning, in the afternoon after class, or 3 a.m. in the bathroom. Whatever works best for you is the way to go. From there, find how much time you’ll have to devote to a given class. Some classes need more work than others, so keep that in mind while you’re scheduling everything out. You don’t have to study every subject every day, of course, and I find it better to mix it up from day to day. That said, make sure you stay on top of things and lay out enough time to get things done.

2. Take frequent breaks

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Whatever you do, do NOT sit and study for six hours straight. We’re all human, and humans need breaks. Even in the workplace, breaks are mandatory. Study for an hour or two and then take some time to relax and give your mind a break. Netflix and other streaming sites are great for this, since you can easily queue up a TV show to watch (but don’t fall into binging – that’d only make things more stressful). If you’re not a fan of TV, you can always read a couple chapters in a book, go for a quick jog or take a short power nap.

3. Stay focused

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I know, I know, it can be tough to stay focused on homework at times. It just seems so inconsequential in the moment, and we’d all rather be doing something else. But if you stay in the zone, you will be able to get all your work done in a timely fashion and move onto the things you’d rather do. Once you start your study session, don’t stop until you’re finished. Obviously, take some breaks, but don’t get too sidetracked that you don’t get back to your work within a reasonable amount of time. Entertainment can wait, and anyways, having fun is always better when you don’t have obligations hanging over your head.

4. Don’t procrastinate unless entirely necessary

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Procrastination is the college student’s best friend and worst nightmare. For a while, it can be super nice to just chill and not think about your work. The you suddenly realize the paper is due in an hour and you’ve only written your name on the page. Procrastination is never worth it, and not only will you be more stressed as the deadline gets closer, but your work will suffer as well since you’ll be rushing through it. To stay stress-free, it’s better to get everything done in a timely fashion.

5. Stay social

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With all this homework, it’s easy to forget that you actually have friends on campus. Don’t be too antisocial, it is college after all! Find some time to meet up with friends and classmates daily to do some homework, talk, or just chill together and have some fun. Everybody here is in the same boat, so getting a group to study with you can make all the obligations much more manageable. Staying social helps not only your stress levels, but will keep you energized and happy, which is always a plus.

6. Don’t overwork yourself

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Homework is unavoidable, but not everything is as concrete. Don’t take on more than you can chew with side projects and other obligations. A few clubs and activities are fine, but once you get to the point that sleep is your only break, you’re probably doing too much. Take it down a notch, and focus on the things that really matter to you.

Let’s have a great and productive fall semester, Warriors!

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Nathaniel Nelson

Nathaniel is graduating in 2017 with a Journalism major and minors in Film Studies. He is from Buffalo, MN and spends his time listening to chill beats, going on long barefoot walks around town, making pewpew noises while building plastic robots and reading up about internet fashion.