Surviving College While Having a Heavy Course Load

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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You can have it all!


Are you planning to go into college with a major that will require difficult courses as well as getting involved with many organizations? Are you stressed that you will not have the ability to juggle all of this while also having a social life? Well don’t you worry, I was in your shoes, and if you follow my advice you’ll surely be able to survive college while also excelling emotionally, academically, and socially.

Put everything you have planned into a calendar

Staying organized is key to being successful. When you have everything in a calendar, it will allow you to plan out your day with schoolwork and maybe squeeze in time with your friends. Never plan all of your assignments at the last minute. Spacing it out will lower your stress and allow you to be more flexible for possible activities that were not planned, such as a trip to the gym or playing volleyball outside a dorm or a short trip to a fast-food restaurant like Cook-Out to grab yourself a milkshake or a quick bite to eat.

Give yourself short breaks

Never try to do everything at once. That is stressful and difficult to achieve. Give yourself breaks to eat a little snack, eat a meal, watch some YouTube, or whatever else may be helpful for you to destress. Try to limit each break to about 30 minutes so that you can get back to work. The number of short breaks will depend on the amount of work that is supposed to be completed. Just be wary of how long you are not working on your homework.

Give yourself enough sleep, but not too much sleep

Sleep is essential to allowing your body to relax and recover from the day. That being said, sleeping too much is usually unhealthy because it can be a sign of exhaustion or stress-related. Lacking sleep and sleeping too much will be detrimental to your long-term health. Try to get a nice 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

Never skip meals

Eating food is very essential for the human body to receive energy. Skipping meals can lead to a lack of focus as well as obvious health issues. Always try to eat three meals a day with a snack between lunch and dinner and another snack before dinner. Never eat a snack less than two hours before you go to sleep as your body has less time to digest the nutrients, which could lead to heartburn or weight gain.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss an assignment

You are only human. Learn from these mistakes rather than dwell on them. Dwelling is a slippery slope, so the best is to learn and move on. College doesn’t magically stop for you; you need to know that the world will move on without you. However, you can always bounce back from a poor grade. If you did the best you can on assignment, then you shouldn’t be hard on yourself about the outcome.

All in all, college may appear to be stressful for students, especially those with a rigorous course load, but the work is worth all the effort. Sometimes days will feel harder than others, but you just have to get back up on your feet and keep working the best you can. You are your biggest critic.


Jacob Concolino
University of Kentucky

I am currently pursuing a BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. I am also pursuing a minor in German and have been to the country twice. I can speak some German, and I listen to every genre of music from German to country to rap to pop.