Back to school tips for students

 

By Jerushah Blackburn

After the holidays wind down, Volunteer State Community College students hoist heavy backpacks and head back to classes. However, the fog of marshmallows and hot chocolate may make it difficult for students to get back into the groove of college life.

Many students get into erratic sleep patterns over school breaks. According to the University Health Center, a division at the University of Georgia, most college students get six to almost seven hours of sleep. To be well rested, adults need 6-10 hours of sleep. The recommended amount of sleep is eight hours.

Lack of sleep can cause poor health, unhealthy weight loss or gain, increased stress, anxiety, depression, and a drop in academic performance. For these reasons, college students should develop consistent sleep patterns. These patterns include going to bed every night at a consistent time, even on weekends. Good sleep helps with the processing and retaining of information.

For new Vol State students, familiarizing themselves with their new environment, instructors, and schedules is important.

“They should also get familiar with the campus and the tremendous amount of resources available to them,” said Rebecca Adair, completion advisor of business and technology.

For returning students, a good thing to do to improve is to identify what did, and didn’t, work last semester, and think of ways to correct it.

The biggest struggle for both new and returning students can be time management, especially for students who work, either full- or part-time. Students can use a weekly schedule, writing down dates for work and school assignments.

Another method to keep in mind is “time blocking.” It is important to make breathing room within one’s schedule, in case of the unexpected, according to Livy Simpson, librarian at Thigpen Library.

Another essential part of academic success is studying. Vol State offers a large array of resources to its students. Thigpen Library offers quiet space for students to study, either alone or in groups. They also offer research guides, sorted by subject, and a website available 24/7 with chat rooms for academic help. Tutoring and the Language Center are also accessible. It is important that students do not wait until the last minute for help, according to Simpson.