How to Be Successful Balancing Responsibilities

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Alex Larson

Going back to school always surfaces many emotions ranging from excitement to dread—especially if it’s your first year of college. There are always so many things to take care of, including your living situation, food, making friends, joining clubs or teams, and of course, classes. With so much to juggle, it can be stressful navigating how to succeed in all of your responsibilities. The definition for success varies from individual to individual, and everyone has a unique way of getting there.

The Academic Success Center opened in 2004 in Waldo Hall, where it is still located today. Waldo Hall serves as a centralized location for the ASC, but there is also the Beth Ray Center, which is the place for collaborative study and academic support for student athletes. These centers are a great resource for when you’re feeling overwhelmed with your course load. We talked to the Director of the ASC, Clare Creighton, for some insight as to how you can balance all of your responsibilities.

“Strategies for being successful in college differ from student to student and are informed by so many elements like course load, types of courses, additional activities and time commitments, preferred approaches to learning and studying, and many other factors,” Creighton said.

The ASC boasts many resources for students who want extra help with balancing their course load. Resources include study groups, academic coaching, workshops, and strategists on site ready to help you get your life together.

“The Academic Success Center has a lot of information about the science of how we learn, how memory works, different ways to manage time and stay organized, and more… Time management and organization seem to be key for every student,” Creighton said.

Another important tip is to be creative, try multiple paths and see which one is best for you. “While time management systems look different for everyone, I’d recommend looking for ways to adapt and improve your system… What works for your roommate might not work for you, but if you’re looking for other options, we’ve got a lot of ideas to share,” Creighton said.

While academics are important (probably the main reason why you’re here) it’s also important to find other things to focus on, and give yourself breaks.

 “I’ll put a plug in for being proactive about self-care. We partnered with folks in Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) on a ‘DAM Good Self-Care Packet,’ and students can pick this up at either location and take a quiz, get some ideas on self-care activities, and create a plan for ‘maintenance’ or ‘emergency’ self-care early in the term,” Creighton said. “We like students to think ahead about how to take care of themselves so that, when midterms or finals week comes around, they’ve got a sense for what they need to help them stay calm, take-care of themselves, and keep stress levels low.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed managing responsibilities, think you might become overwhelmed in the future, or are just looking for some tips on how to be more successful, be sure to check out the ASC or CAPS and all of the resources they have to offer.

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