College Q&A: How Do I Do It All?

College. Sigh. It’s unlike any other time in your life. It has its own set of rules, its own unique circumstances. And it’s not always easy to navigate. Everyone needs a little guidance now and then (or always) so we’ve pulled together a variety of perspectives (the does-it-all girl, the party girl and Ms. Study Lounge) to weigh in on your life conundrums and give you the best advice we can.

Every week they’ll be tackling your questions about college. From classes to keggers to keggers before classes, they’ll do their best to respond and be your Pez dispenser of collegiate wisdom. Got questions? Unsure of a decision? Just wanna chat it up with some really awesome chics?

Hit them up in the comments or shoot them an email with the subject “College Q&A”!

So, along with my 3 final exams and this mega paper that is worth 50% of my grade all happening next week, it’s my best friend/roommate’s 21st birthday this weekend. Any thoughts/tips/miracles that I might be able to use to fit it all in, do well and find time to pack to go home? I really don’t want to miss anything…

Busy Bee:
Being a person who is always bombarded with ten million important things at once, I completely understand. You need to start by making a to-do list and prioritizing everything – list out what REALLY needs to be done first. If you’re considering getting your schoolwork out of the way, then set aside time to sit down and really study for those exams and truly write that paper. That means getting rid of all possible distractions – Facebook, Twitter and, yes, your cell phone. Whether that means disabling your Internet for a few hours or asking your roommate to hide your cell phone from you, by all means, do it! Then, sit down and get serious. If you put your mind to it (and make lots of lists – including a packing list), anything can be accomplished. Oh, and would you look at that? Now you suddenly have time to throw your roommate a killer birthday party (since she’s your BFF, I’m going to assume you’ve already thought about this monumental day) and throw some clothes into a suitcase.

Party Girl:
Isn’t that always the way it goes? Fortunately, I’ve dealt with this situation often enough that I’ve developed a plan of attack. Spread the packing out over a couple days – put your suitcase on the floor and throw stuff in as you remember. That way, you’re not rushed to pack at the last second. As for the party vs. exam situation…the party is a maximum 6 hours of your time, right? That’s nothing! Study right up until you leave to go celebrate, remember to drink at least six full glasses of water during the night (one every hour) between delicious mojitos or whatever you guys are rocking, and before you drop into bed take an aspirin and eat some bread. This should help reduce your hangover so you can go right on studying the next day! There’s no reason you can’t party the weekend before exams – in fact, I’d say it’s beneficial to party before exams to relieve stress and anxiety. Enjoy your party and have a shot for the poor souls stuck inside studying.

GPA Girl:
This is a toughie, because you can’t apply the usual “Will this matter to me in five years?” question to your scenario. Odds are, you’ll remember both your exams (and their consequent grades) AND your BFF’s 21st bash in five years (unless you drink yourself into oblivion, of course . . .). I think you need to consider your priorities here. The fact that you’re concerned about these issues at all suggests to me that your grades matter to you a lot, and they should–you’ll need good ones later to land a killer job and be able to celebrate future birthdays with your best friend in style. Plus, she’s your bestie–she should understand that you need to sacrifice a little bit to study, which is your JOB right now. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to her party; by all means, stop by and hang for an hour. But don’t get drunk, and don’t let “an hour” turn into all night. You’ll feel a lot better about things if you allow yourself the time you need to prepare for your exams and your paper (and to pack for home). If all else fails, hunker down for your work and offer your friend a rain check to party with her later.

Hope this helps!

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