I started commuting last semester, and it was definitely a shock to me. I wasn’t used to getting up early at all, I didn’t know how public transportation worked, and I had no clue how I was going to balance writing articles for Odyssey, while also being involved in PRSSA’s e-board and having to work 10-15 hours on weekends.
Somehow, I ended up doing the best that I could, and I’d say I improved so much on balancing all of this. I even got all A’s last semester! Here’s how I managed to be involved in student organizations, while also working and commuting.
1. Using a planner
Using a planner was a lifesaver for me. Not only would I use it to write down my homework for the week, but I would also use it to plan what days I’m going to do work for which classes. It kept me so organized that I ended up getting ahead in a few classes!
2. Planning my classes accordingly
This part was very important, mainly because I didn’t want to have to wake up before 6 AM to get to school on time for an 8 AM. I plan all my classes so I don’t have any before 10 AM or after 3 PM. Before and after those times are free (except for the PRSSA and PRowl meetings, of course), so I have plenty of time to do work in those gaps.
I also make sure that I have gaps between my classes so I have time to eat and get most of my work done, so it’s less that I have to worry about later.
3. Drinking plenty of caffeine
Drinking caffeine is what kept me moving throughout the day last semester. Getting up at 6:30 AM every day was no easy task, and I always needed a pick-me-up in the morning to make sure I don’t get insanely tired during the day. Matcha really helped me with this since it doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee. It kept me focused throughout the whole day!
4. Getting to campus early
Even though my first classes don’t start until 10-11 AM, I still like to get to campus early. Getting to campus a few hours before classes start allows me to get work done, or even get ahead in some classes. I use this time to take notes or to get started on an essay I need to get done in a few weeks
5. Only doing homework on weekdays
Since I work 10-15 hours on the weekends, I always make sure that all my work for the week is done so I can relax (the most I can) on the weekends. Having to do homework while also having to work can be stress-inducing, so I like to make sure everything is done so it’s fewer things I have to worry about.