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Got my Trusty Highlighter as I Tackle this Reading!

I get distracted easily. Whenever I should be doing work, whether for school or my job, I tend to find something around me to focus on. It could be my phone, my friends, or the sudden impulse to re-download Minecraft from the account I got seven years ago (that last one may or may not be what I am doing while writing this blog). Whatever the distraction, it can hamper the completion of my work, leading to more stressful days later on. Thankfully, there are a couple of things that I use in college that help me stay on track and stress-free!

Changing locations is another way to stay focused
Changing locations is another way to stay focused!

First off, I have come to use a to-do list EXTENSIVELY at college. Every day, I have a list of all I have to do. Whether I have a Zoom meeting, some readings to do, a lecture to watch, or a blog to write, it goes on my list. Having this list not only helps me remember what I have to do, but it also allows me to be satisfied each time I complete something. Checking off an item, no matter how small, makes me feel accomplished and gives me the energy to finish off all my work.

Waking up early has also helped me stay focused during school. Yes, yes, I know - waking up sucks. You roll out of bed to the sound of your alarm clock ringing, wishing you could throw it out of the window into oblivion. But resist! Waking up early saves you so much of the day, allowing you to finish up some extra homework you might need to do. Another benefit of waking up early is being up before the world is. Walking to ROTC in the mornings back on campus was a time of reflection and a nice time of peace before my day, and it was a beautiful sight when the dawn broke. 

An Early Morning on Campus
An Early Morning on Campus

And one of the most crucial tips to stay focused is to do things in bits and pieces. Like I said before, I am very prone to distraction. And having a big task in front of me makes me want to do anything BUT that task. That's why it is essential to cut up your work into smaller parts. Let's say I have to read 40 pages one day. Instead of tackling that all at once (which would probably include multiple "breaks" in-between), I would instead read it five or ten pages at a time. And every time I read a section, I would cross it off my to-do list. In between these readings, I would do other homework, using the same format. Learning this tool for work has helped me accomplish many tasks without feeling overwhelmed.  I would highly recommend it!

These three tools have helped my college career in substantial ways. I hope that in whatever college you go to (hopefully Dartmouth!) or in any school you are in, these tools will help you complete your work and stay focused!

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