Academic Overload – Tips on How to Survive & Thrive!

In the fall, I petitioned for academic overload (which is considered anything more than 18 credits) for Spring 2020. Upon my approval, (which is based upon your previous professor’s signatures and your GPA) I kind of sort of… panicked. What did I get myself into?! But I knew that if I took some breaths and managed my time, I would not only survive this semester but thrive. Let me tell you my tips on how to manage your time when you are on academic overload. 

  1. Schedule in time for lunch/snacks. It is so important that you take care of yourself, especially when your day is busy with classes and possibly work/extracurriculars. Even if you cannot make it for lunch, grab a snack. Trying to focus on anything with an empty stomach is such a struggle. 
  2. Do your homework ahead of time. Do not procrastinate, whatever you do, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. The worst feeling is having piled assignments that need to be done. Do not create a homework monster!
  3. Schedule quiet time. Having over 18 credits may sometimes be overwhelming. When are you supposed to take a breather? When are you supposed to rest? Schedule in this time. It is just as important to have a quiet space where you are able to have peace of mind as much as it is important to attend class. Prioritize your needs.
  4. Ensure that you have a support system. Do you have someone you can go to when things get rough? Reach out to your family, friends, coworkers, professors, or other Whitman faculty when you need to talk. No one is expecting you to get through college on your own. 
  5. Make every minute count. When you find yourself with 10 minutes to spare, finish that reading assignment. When you find yourself up a little earlier than usual, draft that paper. When you grab lunch by yourself, pull out that study guide. 

Nothing comes easy. And when you experience hardships, find them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Balancing work-study, school, and social life can be difficult. But it is not impossible. You can do it!


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