Money, classes and trying not to worry


Jacob Summerville, Staff Reporter

With the immense pressure of coursework, jobs, monthly payments and trying to maintain some form of a social life, it is easy to fall into detrimental habits that affect our grades, savings and quality of life. There are some routine changes I made over the course of the past two semesters that better prepared me for each day of work, class and extracurricular activities, and it all starts with how you wake up.

As a campus resident, the least amount of time I need to use from the time I wake up until the time I arrive at my earliest class is 15 minutes. So, I set two alarms in the morning: 40 minutes before and two hours before that 15-minute time crunch. The reason for the early alarm is to award myself with some extra sleep if I am that tired, or I can get an early start to the day by taking my time for a shower and breakfast. The later alarm has a couple of functions as well. The most pertinent reason is if I don’t wake up to my first alarm, I need an extra one. The other reason why I give myself about 55 minutes with the second alarm is that I still have time to take a shower and get a quick snack before heading to class.

If there is a gap between classes, I aim to study for any subject for 15 minutes straight. I pick classes that do not have a test the same day or the following day because I want the opportunity to study for leisure. That way, I am more relaxed, and I absorb more information, making my learning experience a more positive one.

For gaps between classes that last more than one hour, I try to not take naps because I can confirm that a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Yes, naps can be helpful, but one can easily become dependent on a two-hour nap very quickly as I discovered last fall.

Spending money is something most of us try to control, but it can sometimes be difficult to stay within a budget. Whenever I shop, I shop in bulk and with a firm list. I only buy the items I write down, no more, no less. I write down the essentials such as toilet paper, bottled water and snacks, and I find the best deal for each item. Granola bars may seem expensive by the box, but in reality, each bar costs about $1. At any convenience store on campus, that same bar can easily be twice as much.

On the topic of money, I try to stop by the Mane Dish every time I feel hungry, and I am not in a rush. Although I have $400 with my meal plan, using Cub Cash for each meal will place myself in a bad, money-spending habit and run my account dry very quickly. I try to spend about $100 for each full month of classes and $50 for the beginning and end months for each semester.




Writing down your schedule as soon as you are aware of events, meetings and tests will keep your life a little less cluttered. My planner already has events in November so that I do not run into conflicts last second. Additionally, it is OK to say “No” to events and whatnot. Remember that having an off day is not laziness. It is healthy to get rest once in a while.

Whether you are involved in academics, Greek life, campus life or sports, we all share similar struggles when it comes to time and money management. Tightening up the spending or waking up a bit earlier can impact the flow of your day, and easing those tasks into habits can become the beginning of bigger and better opportunities down the road.