Editor’s Note: Throughout the summer we’ll be featuring a post by one or more of our Orientation & Welcome Leaders (OWLs). The OWLs are current undergraduates at Stevenson who serve as orientation assistants for incoming students and tour guides for prospective students throughout the summer. As their name suggests, the OWLs are very wise and will be offering valuable and timely advice to the Class of 2021. We hope you enjoy this summer series on the Admissions Blog.

This week's contributor is Orientation & Welcome Leader, Erin Skoda '18. Erin is a Criminal Justice major from Nottingham, MD.

The first day of classes is only a few days away and I am sure many of you are filled with a mix of excitement and anxiety. It is normal to be nervous about the start of college. You will be in a new academic environment and many of you also will be living away from home for the first time (check out this post for tips for living on campus). Below are my tips for adjusting to college life. These strategies have helped me balance academics with my multiple involvements and on campus jobs.   

Get sleep every night

It might be tempting to pull an all-nighter to study for an exam or finish a paper, but sleep is more important. If you schedule time to do homework and get it done at least a week before it is due, you will always have time for sleep. Speaking of…

Learn how to manage your time

You have a lot of free time in college, but you need to use it wisely. Your classes will require a lot of work outside of the classroom. You will have to read, work on homework, finish assignments, and study for exams and quizzes outside of class. Make sure you get your work done, but have fun too! Check out this post for tips on getting involved on campus.

Invest in a planner or use an online calendar to help with time management

Get a planner

Once you get your syllabus for each class, write down your assignments and when they are due. This will help you stay on track with your work. I color coordinate my planner - each class gets a different color. That helps me keep track of exams and assignments. 

Eat healthy

The “freshman fifteen” is a real thing. I didn't gain my weight until my sophomore year, but it happened. Workout at the gym, eat healthy food, and eat junk food only every now and then. Enjoy the food you eat and try new things! Rockland Marketplace, Pandini's, and Mustang Grill are some of the places I eat on campus. I am a picky eater and I still manage to eat well and enough.

Take care of yourself

Whether it is getting your nails done, doing a face mask, watching your favorite show, or taking a nap - make sure you have time to treat yourself because you deserve it!

I am excited to see you all on campus soon. As they say and I can confirm, college is the best four years of your life!