Balancing time and well-being for a successful semester

Life is stressful enough but school doesn’t have to fall under that category. As students stumble into another challenging semester, there are plenty of steps that can help set students up for success.

Be Your Own Advocate

Kimberly Stelter is a first year experience and student success librarian at Humboldt State University. Stelter believes that what students are learning have the ability to apply far beyond their GE requirements, and into the working world. 

“Asking questions is probably one of the best ways to save time and energy from stressing over a lot of different things,” Stetler said. “If you don’t know the answer, there is someone that can help you find the answer or answer that question for you.” 

Building communication skills while in college and practicing them in the classroom is one way to prepare a world outside of school, says Stelter. It can be easier to practice when the stakes are much lower than in a job environment. College can be a big change for many students, who find that they have to become their own advocates. 

“Take advantage of it while the opportunity is there because once it’s gone, it’s gone. This is a great opportunity to explore, to learn, to experience all kinds of things. Even though we’re in a pandemic right now, there are communities online for you to get connected with,” Stelter said. 

Time-management and Well Being

Nancy Olson works in human resources and specializes in professional development training. Olson leads skillshops around time management, overall well-being and a variety of organizational skills. 

The bullet journal is one form of organization that Olson promotes and uses herself. Bullet journaling is a system of journaling that improves time-management

Bullet journaling is often described as a mindfulness practice as well as an organizational tool. To start a bullet journal you first set the intention of the journal, write down thoughts and tasks, and lastly adapt it to suit your needs. This is a way to visually organize your day to day tasks, weekly, monthly and all future tasks for better time management.

Olson also stresses how mindfulness and well-being play a key role in managing your time successfully. Bringing our attention to the present moment helps to ground our intention to the tasks at hand.

“When we can be present in each moment, we can make those decisions intentionally about how we spend our time and I think that’s really core to time management.” Olson said . 

A Student’s Perspective

Leslie Arjon-Rodriguez is a junior and a first generation student working as a peer mentor in the Department of Communication at Humboldt State. 

Arjon-Rodriguez mentors primarily transfer students, and worries virtual schooling may be a barrier for students who may not be aware of all the resources still available to them online. In addition to advising students of all the resources available through HSU and where to find all the links, she also promotes emotional support and well-being.

“Always leave some time for yourself at the end of the day. Throughout your days it’s really tough having Zoom courses, being in front of a computer all day,” Arjon-Rodriguez said . “Self-care is really important, especially during a pandemic, so taking time for yourself and your loved ones is really important and necessary.”

Resources for HSU Students

  • Library: research help and guides, virtual skillshops and much more
  • Bullet journaling: Olson’s skillshop teaches students journaling organization techniques to adapt and make their own
  • Learning Center: free tutoring, writing support with peer writing consultants, and peer coaching
  • Academic & Career Advising Center (ACAC): for support with career related topics including writing resumes and cover letters, doing mock interviews, and more for while you are in school and getting ready to apply for jobs after college 
  • Cultural Centers for Academic Excellence: connects students with community and find support in a variety of areas for student success 
  • Club or Student Organization: to find something outside of your classes to keep you connected and engaged and build community 

Illustration by Raven Marshall

*Leslie Arjon-Rodriguez was a reporter for El Leñador during the 2020 fall semester. 

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