I have about 2.5 weeks before school begins. Since I registered for classes it’s been more or less an up and down experience. Most of that flux is probably directly related to my PTSD, so I’ve been trying to find ways to overcome that.
Right after I registered I panicked when I realized I didn’t know how to study. So I did what I do whenever I realize I don’t know something important, I researched it. I haven’t researched it to death yet, though. (Maybe I ought to get on that seeing how few weeks I have left.) I got slightly side-tracked by some ideas that will actually help me once I need to sit down and study.
My first find when I began my research was College Info Geek. CIG is the second best thing I’ve discovered on the Internet, which, considering I credit my Internet research for helping to save Spock’s life (none of my doctors knew anything about his birth defect) that makes it pretty significant.
I found him first on YouTube when I was looking for study methods. I looked at a couple other of his videos and was pretty much hooked. Thomas Frank is a thoughtful guy who has lived the things he talks about honestly, and he continues, though he’s out of college now, to continue to educate himself in areas that are helpful to college students.
Of course, the reason that’s helpful to him is that the things that help college students aren’t just for them, things like making habits and routines and presentations, etc, are things we all need.
One of my favorite things he turned me on to was habit trackers. In this video I learned about an app called Habitica. It’s proved very helpful. By using a habit tracker it frees my mind up from (too much) freaking out about small things.
I’ve tried this in the past, but it was always a paper or white board list which means at some point I have to rewrite it. Yeah, that’s a pain.
With habit trackers you just type in what you want for your list and it’s set for life. You can tweak it and move the items around in case you remembered something that should be in the middle after you already wrote out your whole list.
For someone like me, removing the need to recall these small details of my day relieves the stresses that come along with forgetting stuff.
For someone like you, well, how many times have you said “I’ll do that,” and then forgot? It’s annoying when we do it to ourselves, but it’s worse when we do it to someone else. I can remember things that others said they’d get back to me on, but I can’t remember when I’ve done the same to them. It’s just how are brains work. They are not storage devices, not in that way. (Just for useless trivia about soap operas we watched when we were in junior high,)
Now, the plus (and draw) of Habitica, is that it’s also a game. I’m trying to get my kids on board so we can play together.
The other plus is that it’s not just an app for your phone, you can access it on your computer as well.
Right before we left for vacation I decided to give another app a try, just to see if it might work better for me. It’s called Productive. Seriously, that’s it’s name. It’s nice. I like how it separates the parts of your day into “Morning,” “Afternoon,” etc. But I’m slowly going back to Habitica because it has a separate To Do list and a few other options for scoring points. And because I can see all of it on one screen on my laptop.
Having the lists in this usable way frees me up to accomplish (hopefully) one other thing a day.
I now have a long list of dailies, but it’s probably not a great idea to start out that way. Just do a few things, maybe just first thing in the morning. Check them off, then add as you feel more and more comfortable.
One thing I have to remember is that this is not a strict law of what I must do or else each day. On the dailies it’s stuff I usually already do, or want to do, just to get the basics done.
The To Do list is the one I mainly struggle with. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get past the need to fail in order to give myself a reason to berate myself.
Anyway, I highly recommend CIG and Habitica, or Productive, if gaming isn’t really your thing. You really don’t even need to be a college student to get some great stuff out of all of this.