Habits may range from small things like twitching your nose, to more debillitating habits such as pathological procrastination! The latter is probably the most potent among us students, the old “yes I have to do this, but it’s grand I’ll do it later, sure the deadline isn’t ‘til Friday, it’s graaand”.
Now, the habit of procrastination makes us feel like we’ve all the time in the world. If this sounds a bit like you, then you’re all too familiar with the day when the shit hits the fan and you’ve four projects to be handed up the following morning, two of which you’ve written an introduction, the other two still not past the concept stage, as in still in your head and not on paper.
So, Fresher, this leads me to tell you one thing. Want to have to study for (and pay for) repeat exams during your most sacred time of freedom - the summer? No? Well then my advice is to get on top of things as soon as induction week’s over. Been given some long-distant deadlines for subjects you don’t even understand yet? Get a start on it now, because that deadline will come up and bite you in the arse, and put you under needless pressure, causing you to miss friend's birthdays, foam parties etc. Even if you don’t get the topic to start, say macroecononmics, you can always blag the intro and fill in the gaps of knowledge along the way.
Make some sort of plan. Most importantly, a realistic one. We’ve all had those friends who designed overly elaborate study timetables for the Leaving Cert, but in reality probably spent more time colouring it in than they did with the books.
Make a note of your day’s homework, and tick it off in the evening when it’s done. This in itself will give you enough satisfaction to stave off any guilt for going out two weeknights in a row with the new college buddies.
All of these things count as GOOD habits, but unfortunately, unlike bad habits, which come so naturally, you have to beat good habits into yourself until they become second nature.
So if you manage to train yourself to have a few good habits, the bad ones, which are already well cultivated by now, won’t be as likely to bring about your academic downfall. Bad habits associated with student life often include alcohol consumption, regular absence from lectures due to hangovers, or due to friends with attractive, but distractive, alternative propositions, such as going to the cinema instead of that boring statistics lecture.
To be successful in college, it's imperative that you don't compare your own work rate to your equally lazy classmate, because the chances are that this kind of self-comforting will end you both up in the repeats hall at the end of summer.
And lastly (this is mainly for the lads), don’t do all of your work on a laptop in your room. Change the scene every now and then, use paper, as the internet is a fertile ground for distraction, and is always just a click away.
So control yourself, do an hour or two of work, then do what you want, be it "Facebooking" away to your heart’s content, or tending to your offline, real social life.