What are some of the changes I can make in my routine for success in my return to college?
I am a 38 year old working husband and father that’s going back to school with the hopes of getting into the nursing program at Coahoma Community College. Getting back into school has been fun and enlightening, but I’m also quickly reminded of the time and commitment required. The intent of my paper is to enlighten my teacher and my schoolmates my ideas to help me prepare for a successful collegiate experience.
As a returning college student, my challenges include waiting until the last minute to start assignments, being unorganized, paying too much attention to distractions such as social media, television, noisy settings, and unwillingness to get started.
This paper discusses the academic issues that I have and my plan for solutions in each paragraph.
Out of all my bad habits, my biggest one is waiting until the last minute to start assignments (Carter 12). My plan is to not procrastinate when I know I have assignments and quizzes due. I need to arrange my study times in advance (Carter 13) and place an emphasis on responsibility and self-regulation (Adams 19). Finding time to do homework assignments and study is hard for me to do. Working a full time job during the week and some weekends, being a musician, and raising two school age children takes a lot of my time. Weekends seem to present the best times for me to study, but my assignments are usually done in between work and bedtime during the week. Recently, my wife purchased a nifty new dry erase board calendar that I’ve found really helps me keep on track with assignment and project due dates. At the beginning of each week, I mark down everything that is due for the rest of the week so I can clearly see it listed in front of me. I mark each assignment out as I do them. This calendar has really helped me see a specific timeline in which I know when to start and when to have my schoolwork done for the week. I think it’s a good step for to helping me address responsibility with my work. I’ve also blocked time in the afternoon and evenings to work on assignments and study after work in between dinner, helping the kids do their homework, and putting them to bed. My most productive times during weeknights are after 8 p.m. when everything has calmed down.
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I often seem to be unorganized (Carter 12). My result will be taking the time to look at all my assignments for the week and getting a timeline for deadlines, and mapping out assignments on a planner (Carter 13). Being unorganized is something that I’ve always had problems with. I always seem to have many things going on in my life that prevents me from doing one thing at a time. This issue creates clutter on my workspaces and work areas. Along with placing my new assignment calendar where I can clearly see it, I’ve made efforts to clean up my messy and untidy workspace. From now on, everything from assignments to syllabuses have a particular place on my desk and will be easy to find and identify. I have also planned to look over all my assignments in Canvas every day and mark them down for the week so I am able to see them written in front of me as I work.
I pay too much attention to distractions such as social media, television, and noisy settings (Carter). My fix is to pay attention to how much time I spend on my phone, television, and my noisy environment and make proper adjustments to help with the distractions. Put away electronic devices and find a quiet place to do work and study (Carter 13). As long as I can remember, I’ve been a big fan of television and various social media. Although I do not watch nearly as much television as I used to, I have plenty of family members in my household that do. Our house isn’t that large and televisions can be heard throughout it. Even when I am not particularly not watching television, it can still be distracting. Social media apps on my phone and computers are distracting and detrimental as well. My short attention span keeps me wanting to be entertained constantly, and I get distracted very easily. The best way for me to handle these distractions is to isolate myself completely from them. I have a room I can go to in my home that doesn’t have a television and get away from my children playing. I can also leave my phone in another room while I quietly do my work and study, away from those distractions.
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I am often unwilling to get started (Carter 12). I plan to change my approach to school work by adding new daily routines to help me focus on efficiency. Join a study group (Carter 13), add a set of reminders, and hold myself responsible (Adams 19). Aside from my issues with disorganization and distractions, I have problem with procrastination as well. In the past, I leisurely did assignments as I felt that they needed to be done. That process ended up hurting my averages as some assignments were sometimes late and even incorrect because they were done at the last minute. My untimely starting has prompted me to take charge of my academics by focusing on each assignment and deadlines for that assignment. Adding several intervals of work and study time throughout my days and weekends have also made a big difference. I have started looking out for study groups for various classes within my school to help with my efficiency, along with assignment reminders at work and at home. This new structure will surely help my efforts for better achievements with class.
In my return to college, I have had to readjust a few of my old ways of applying myself academically. The ways of learning I had been used to no longer worked the same way for me.Â Â Introducing a suitable schoolwork schedule, assignment calendar, planner, organized work area, and getting away from distractions have made a positive impact on my school performance. For anyone who finds themselves with similar issues like mine, I suggest utilizing some or all of these ideas to their routines as I have found them beneficial.
Adams, Caralee J. “‘Soft Skills’ Seen As Key Element For Higher Ed.” Education Digest 78.6 (2013): 18-22. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Feb. 2016. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=85157969&site=ehost-live
Carter, Claire. “From Vegetation to Procrastination: Breaking Bad Habits. (Cover Story).” Collegexpress Magazine (2015): 12-15. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Feb. 2016. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=110434600&site=ehost-live
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