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Keys to Avoiding College Burnout

Up to 50% of freshman students drop out of college. Some cite that it is because they are on their own for the first time and they end up having “too much fun” (partying) and not able to keep on top of their studies.

But why are they going out and having too much fun? Because they are stressed out and being in fun, social environments temporarily alleviates stress.

College is a complete change from high school, especially if the student goes away and no longer has the day-to-day support of his parents and family. After a period of time, the fight or flight syndrome can kick in and many students flee in order to distance themselves from the stressful situation. While they know that they will be challenged upon moving home, the repercussions from friends and family are nothing compared to an extreme amount of stress. Let’s face it, no one likes to be overwhelmed on a daily basis and will do practically anything to avoid it.

It critical that they have a support network and also adopt time management tools so they can maximize their productivity and reduce the stress associated with being completely responsible for themselves for the first time in their lives.

Consider this:

1. Get a PEND system. Set up 1-32 folders which represent days of the month (32 is for a future month). Put a copy of the syllabus for each class in the appropriate folders to act as reminders of upcoming assignments, projects and exams.

2. Have an outlet to discuss concerns. Get an agreement in advance from a parent, a sibling or a close friend, who will agree to listen and offer support without judgment or disappointment.

3. Organize email into meaningful folders instead of leaving everything in the inbox.

4. Use the tasks or calendar feature in your email or PDA to remind of upcoming deadlines.

The transition into college life is tricky, but having tools and resources set up from the beginning go a long way in making it successful. Work Smart, Not Hard!