With new classes, new people and new surroundings, it can sometimes be difficult to adjust to college life. College students are constantly juggling studies, club activities and jobs while still making time for their social lives and well-being.

MU students say they have found several effective ways to manage their time during their next step into adulthood.

For sophomore Margaret Schleehauf, transitioning into her freshman year at MU was difficult because of the change in school work and overall environment. But by using a planner and communicating with teachers, Schleehauf was able to adjust to the college lifestyle.

"College is all about more experiences than high school," Schleehauf said. "And it can become extremely stressful if you don’t plan out, like, how your month could look or how your week could look."

Like Schleehauf, junior Isaiah Jackson found planning out his schedule helpful with balancing his activities.

"I was involved in a lot of things I was passionate about, but at the same time my school work was suffering," Jackson said. "So sophomore year, just trying to be more dedicated and getting more organized and making use of a planner helped me."

In addition to school work and clubs, Jackson said making time for social and personal activities is important for students’ mental health.

"If you don’t make time for yourself, that’s where a lot of those stressors come in," Jackson said. "You kind of have a lot of different struggles if your mental health isn’t where it needs to be."

Jackson also said that taking some time to celebrate after finishing a test or project can relieve some of the built-up stress associated with the work. 

For sophomore Alex Nixon, creative scheduling between classes and his job at Domino’s is a major part of his college success.

During the school year, Nixon works three days a week while majoring in atmospheric science at MU.

Nixon said having a job on campus is helpful since employers and teachers are reasonable when it comes to managing shifts and classes.

"They understand that students have a lot of work to do," said Nixon. "Most jobs on campus or around campus offer pretty flexible hours so you can still get your work done."

Schleehauf also works during the school year and said most employers in Columbia understand that Mizzou students put classwork first.

For incoming freshmen, MU’s Student Success Center offers courses on how to create a schedule and stay on track during the school year.

Courses such as "Learning Strategies for College Students" and "Academic Success Seminar" help students become comfortable with the college lifestyle and community.

Whether you are an incoming freshman or a returning student, keeping a planner and creating time-management skills is necessary to get the most out of your college experience.

The MU Counseling Center Self-Help Resources offers these tips to students for a successful school year:

  • Be active in your residential hall. You are likely to find someone who you are able to talk to, and help you figure out how to cope with being a college student.
  • Join campus organizations and clubs that appeal to you. You may meet others with similar interests, leading you to feel more secure in your life on campus.
  • Make an extra effort to take care of yourself, including making time to rest, eat balanced meals, exercise and avoid abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Try to build a schedule that works for you, and find your own place and time in the day to study.
  • Adjust your expectations if things are not going as planned. For example, your roommate may not be your best friend, but it is important to recognize that communication and patience are key to developing any relationship. As you go through the years, your surroundings will become more familiar to you.
  • Seek out the resources Mizzou offers students that can help with challenges both academic and personal.

These resources include your advisor, professors, the Counseling Center, Residence Life staff, campus ministries, the Student Health Center and the Student Success Center.

Cindie Huerta is a student at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. Yasmeen Saadi is a student at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park. Bre'Awana Warren is a student at Fort Zumwalt West High School in O'Fallon. 

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