Students walking on the CU Boulder campus

By Emma Falkenberry

It’s that time of year again, Future Buffs! CU students are back in Boulder and ready to conquer the semester. College can appear stressful, especially for students juggling academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and social calendars. It is important to remember to maintain an appropriate balance during the semester. Here are a few of my tips for students who wish to make the most out of their college experience, without losing sleep and social time!

Be present in class, both physically and mentally.
We’ve all been there: we arrive to class, open our laptops and instantly zone out for the duration of the lecture. Start your semester off strong and be attentive, participate and take well-written notes. Laptops are typically permitted in lectures; however, it is easy to get side-tracked on social media. Allow yourself five minutes before class to check social media, then keep your screen locked on Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You will thank yourself later in the semester when you have an intricate folder of notes, I promise!

Meet your professors.
This is a no-brainer: introduce yourself to your professor! Check the course syllabus and attend your professor’s office hours during the first few weeks of class. Ask questions, have them clarify an upcoming assignment and show enthusiasm. Your professor is here to help; don’t take office hours for granted!

Organize your schedule.
We repeat: organize your schedule. Whether that be through Google Calendar, your smartphone or a physical day-planner, jot down important dates and deadlines immediately. As the semester progresses, your assignments and due dates begin to pile up. Refer to your planner on a daily basis if necessary; deadlines are non-negotiable.

Take care of your physical and mental health.
Block out an hour each day for some sort of physical activity, whether that be playing Frisbee on Farrand Field, walking on Boulder Creek Path, running at the Rec Center or hiking the Flatirons. Your mental health will benefit from physical activity and you are more likely to sleep sounder and feel more refreshed after a tiresome day of classes. Practice yoga, read and/or meditate to improve and maintain your mental health. Your health is a priority; CU offers the resources for you!

Let yourself off of the hook and have fun.
You’re only here for four years; allow yourself to have fun! Spend an evening strolling on Pearl Street Mall, go to the movies or spend time with friends. Learn to manage your time effectively in order to maintain your social calendar; college is an amazing time to meet some of your best friends!

The key to having a successful semester is balancing your time effectively. At times, your schedule may seem daunting and overwhelming, which is normal for all students. However, allow yourself to exercise, spend time with friends and get involved on campus. You’re only in college once!