Learn to deal with school’s many challenges

Follow these tips so that you can lead a healthy school life


Josie Scratchard

Adam Coil, Life editor of the Old Gold & Black, struggled with the stressors of school life before using these tips to assist with his challenges.

Yushuo Wang, Staff Writer

Tip 1: Complain to your true friends. 

Phone them, text them, come to them and hug them. They are not dustbins to which you deliver trash — they hold you tight whenever you feel uncool. Like your parents, they love you for you, stomp with rage at your upheavals and shout for your success. Please spend more time grabbing lunch or dinner with them at the Pit instead of using so much on your homework. See how many circles you guys can walk around Hearn Plaza to comfort each other. 

Tip 2: Concentration works better than multitasking.

There’s no need to be somebody who can work hard and play hard at the same time. If you really want to stay concentrated, turn off your phone. You won’t miss anything in an hour and a half. The most important information comes via email, and your computer will notify you. Also, study rooms at the ZSR are always good spots. When making an appointment, feel free to use your best friends’ email addresses if you need a time slot longer than the ZSR allows. In addition to homework, sleeping requires concentration. Call the RA on duty if your neighbor is loud during quiet hours.

Tip 3: Plan ahead and know your boundaries.

Don’t want to miss anything? Make daily plans and link Canvas and Google Classroom to your Gmail account! Split your daily plan into morning, afternoon and night sections and list the things you have to do for each. Doing this consistently allows you to learn more about your ability to complete different types of tasks, so you won’t be blaming yourself for why you don’t meet your goal when plans change. However, accept any changes and make sure you do the things that you feel at each moment. Going to sleep — even taking a day off — is never the wrong decision because you will be more efficient later. 

Tip 4: Go to office hours repeatedly.

For all subjects, attending your professor’s office hours matters. It can be because you’re stuck while tackling a mathematical problem or confused by your professors’ subjectivity when grading your essays. Check with them and find a common ground to work through any complications. And always remember that professors are human beings, and human beings have emotions. Let them know how much you’ve learned and have been through because of their assignments. Let them empathize with you and make sure your efforts pay off.

Tip 5: An A- or B+ as a midterm grade is not the end of life.

There is a stereotype for Chinese students that getting an A- or B+ is akin to torture. I usually try to reject stereotypes, but this is true for me. However, a better interpretation of a grade you find unsatisfactory is that there’s space for improvement. Tell yourself that you have the potential and still have a lot of room to do better. Trust yourself and never lose confidence!

Tip 6: There are always more solutions than difficulties. 

Most of the time you feel that something is difficult, there’s a good chance your peers feel the same way. Don’t doubt yourself when you feel that somebody is smarter than you. Comparison — especially using your shortcomings to compare with others’ advantages — should not be a practice you hold. Learn from others and ask your professors for help. There are no “silly” questions aside from failing to ask them. Besides, college and graduate school are the last few years to really enjoy your identity as a student. Students make mistakes, and everyone knows that. Take advantage of your last few years that people forgive you because of your identity and give yourself chances to fail and grow. 

Tip 7: Last but not least: read and write for Old Gold & Black!

Everything changes, but every Thursday, the OGB comes out. Grab one wherever you are on campus and dive into it. You’ll see people struggling, sharing their vibrance of life and living with resilience. It’s definitely a place for your voice to be heard, and expressing yourself sometimes feels like taking a deep breath.