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Tips for staying focused and being kind to yourself


Plan and schedule: Take some time to carefully plan out each semester before it begins. Think of previous semesters or experiences with your educational journey and really focus on what you would like to improve and what has worked best for you in the past. Outline the courses you plan on completing for each semester in order to remind yourself to stay on track.

Investing in a planner, and actually using it on a daily basis, can be a lot more helpful than you think. An online calendar is also very convenient because it allows you to import all your online schedules with ease. This will allow you to see your day to day progress, improve your previous goals and reflect on habits you may need to improve.

Be proactive: Buying a planner and creating a schedule is only prep before the real work begins. In order to make sure that all your hopes and wishes come true for each semester, you have to do your best to be as proactive as you can be. Following through and keeping yourself accountable for every assignment, every deadline, every test and much more is crucial. To get the results you want you to have to be willing and determined to put the work in. No one else will do it for you.

There is a feeling of euphoria you get when you know you’ve worked so hard for something and the results match up. You should strive for that feeling. We all know how tough our educational journey can be, but if you are able to set and stick to a routine that works for you, and has proved to be successful, then you will alleviate some stress from each semester.

Be kind to yourself: There are times where you may feel discouraged, unmotivated, tired, frustrated or just over it. This is the perfect time to give yourself some credit.

Remind yourself that you are a hard worker because if you weren’t, you would not be in the position you are in today. Remind yourself that school is not forever and you can and will get through this. Remind yourself that you are capable and worthy of being here. Remind yourself that those negative thoughts are only there to cloud your goals and discredit all the amazing work that you have done so far. Try to accept your feelings, and find where the source of this negativity may come from.

Be very grateful for the opportunities you have been given, and be intentionally kind to yourself. And remember you are not alone. ASU offers counseling services that work around your schedule. This can be a great outlet to express the way you feel and in the end, allow you to stay focused.


-Hikmat Lawal, Manufacturing Engineering, BS ’22, program aide for TRIO and the Vice President of TRIO DEVILS at the Polytechnic campus.