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Year 3: Bring It On


In 1 week I will be back in my second home, East Lansing, for my third year of school at Michigan State. I’m so excited to break into full swing with classes, jobs (yes that is plural) and school clubs. Not to mention football season (Go Green!), catching up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile, and the promise of a new year and what it has to bring for me. Ah, I can smell the new books and Sparty’s baked goods in the Comm Arts building already!

So how does one stay organized with so many big plans ahead? Well first it takes careful planning, preparation, and coffee. LOTS of coffee. I think it is important to know how much you can handle. For me especially, it is very hard to turn down any opportunity that would benefit my career, BUT I have learned the hard way that too much on your plate is never a good thing. You should think to yourself ” If I take this on, will I be able to give 110% on top of giving everything else I am already committed to?” If the answer is no, then the big siren in your head should be going off, “WARNING…WARNING,” commitment overdrive.

Once a responsibility is taken on, it is important follow through and find new ways to keep successful, even if we feel stretched thin. That is what builds character and proves the achievers over the quitters. So these are the tips I keep in mind as I am managing 3 jobs, 5 classes, 2 clubs, and being my fun college student self 😉 Hopefully they can help you out too:

1. DO NOT procrastinate. If there is a lot on your plate, you do not have the luxury to wait last minute.

2. Keep written documentation of due dates, events, work schedules, etc. Sounds like more work, but TRUST me…it’s worth it. I cannot tell you how many times I had so much stuff going on, my mind completely forgot about another obligation. A quick look at your organized calender will completely avoid that.

3. Take mini breaks for yourself. Whether it is laying down and listening to one of your favorite songs, grabbing a coffee, or watching a quick you-tube video, your mind will thank you for the mental break. Mini relaxing breaks do wonders for long days full of school and work. When you go back to your project you will feel more relaxed and ready to continue the task at hand.

4. Do not let your appearance give away that you are worn down from your many tasks. Look the part so that you are ready to take on the world at any point during the day. Your confidence and energy will follow suite. Does that mean wear a full suit and tie to class, work, and the gym? No, it means look put together, like you put the effort to use a little hair gel, or mascara in to look with awake. A matching outfit instead of pajama pants and a hoodie may be something to consider also. You want people to take you somewhat seriously in class and especially at work. I do not care what you wear to the gym, I was just trying to make a point.

5. Do make time to enjoy yourself. Work and school are important, but so is having human companionship. Make sure you get your work done, and do it WELL so you can go out and enjoy your weekend.

Wha-la! Keep these helpful tips in mind and you are ready to go! Impressing your friends, fellow students, and especially your boss with the many  activities you partake in, and looking good while you do it will make you feel in control and make it look easy. (It’s not, believe me…I know). You can thank me later.

Here is to taking over the world one less mental breakdown at a time,

Brandon Manson