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Early Semester Blues: How Students are Coping

As a new semester begins at Missouri Baptist University, MBU Timeline bloggers are discussing how they are dealing with time management issues, social calendars, missing family back home and other challenges every new school year brings.

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Photo by GUY SHAW

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By CHAD OTEC

As I enter my senior year of my soccer career at MBU, I am still working to overcome the balance between soccer and school.

It seems as if every year in college I struggle during the fall semester, and flourish in the spring semester.

This often seems attributed to my inability to balance my busy soccer and work schedule with my class schedule.

I am often on the road traveling to away games in the fall semester. This results in me missing many classes when teachers hand-out assignments or valuable information.

This year I will do my very best to be proactive with my teachers in order to stay up to speed with things.

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By TREY RICHARD

As I enter this school year, my greatest challenge has been getting myself mentally back into school mode.

As a teenager, mentally and physically getting yourself back accustomed to school tendencies can be very challenging — especially when you’re so used to a summer schedule.

Therefore, it usually takes me about two weeks before I’m back mentally prepared for the semester.

This year already being into a few weeks of school, I would definitely  say I’ve done a great job of getting back into that mode.

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By CAMERON COSEY

Entering into this school year my greatest challenge has been adapting to the distance from my house to where the school is.

Trying to make it to school on time while still getting enough sleep, and also trying to avoid traffic is extremely difficult.

However, I am starting to understand that getting enough sleep is not possible, so I just have to wake up two hours earlier than the start time of my class in order to make it on time.

This is a hard process but I think it is preparing me for my future, because as an adult I’m going to have to be prompt and also do things that are not particularly favorable.

My solution to this problem has been to get up two hours earlier than my scheduled class, and if I still end up running late find an alternate route to school.

The highway is far too crowded after a certain time so it is imperative that I find a different path, to be on time.

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By AARON FEELEY

As I enter this school year my greatest challenge I have faced has been trying to keep my schedule consistent in that I don’t have huge gaps of time in which I am doing nothing between activities such as classes, lifts, practice, etc.

The importance of doing this on my end has stemmed from my commute which is now around one hour from my house, making a constant transport back and forth throughout the day almost impossible, or at the very least incredibly impractical.

Without the ability or time to work this semester also does not help, as it has forced me to sponge off of pre-saved funds throughout the semester, which is forcing my hand as far as being very conservative with my gas expenditure.

One delightful little side challenge this has presented as well is trying to make sure I have time to eat lunch at some point during the day.

On occasion this can be difficult as I have a team study hall at 9 a.m., lifting at 10 a.m. then classes start at noon.

On most days this is no problem, I could just eat in the gap between 11 a.m. and noon, but on Chapel days that time slot is taken up.

I have been doing well to this point in the year in managing all of these things and we’ll see how I fare as the school year goes along, but for now these are my greatest challenges I face at school and how I am managing them.

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By GIOVANNICA JOHNSON

As I enter this school year, my greatest challenge will be not giving up and properly managing my time.

Over the past years that I have been here at MBU, I always hit this roadblock where I go for awhile and then I just tend to stop.

Stop showing up, stop participating, stop working, just stop everything.

And in doing so I have been penalized.

By the grace of God, I was given another chance here at MBU.

I am basically on academic probation of sorts.

If I do not maintain my GPA at the necessary level to receive scholarship then I in turn lose it.

With my mother currently being out of work and my father having a very interesting situation about him, I literally can not afford to give up.

My time management skills have always been a problem, so I have to make sure I manage time for everything.

Between being a full-time student and a full-time parent, I have to make sure I give enough time to school work, while not neglecting my duties as a parent.

All in all I’m simply doing the best that I can.

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By KATIE GREEN

My greatest challenge going into this school year is knowing that this is my final year in school and not knowing exactly what my next step will be.

It seems as though I have been a student for my entire life.

I started in a pre-K class and have gone all the way through the schooling system: pre-K, kindergarten, elementary, junior high, high school, undergraduate, and now graduate.

Everyone always asks, “What are you going to do after you graduate?” And the most common response is, “Well, I hope I can get a job,” or even just simply, “I don’t know.”

It is almost an unfair question to ask a current student as they may have to wait on certain circumstances preventing them from being able to answer that question.

However, until then, knowing the field that I want to work in, I strive to better myself in that field.

The best way that I can better myself in this field is to get as much hands-on experience as possible and take the feedback that I get and improve on those areas that need work.

With that in mind, I try to give myself as many options that I can so that I don’t limit myself too specifically and I remain flexible and let God take care of the rest.

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By MACY CHURCH

As I enter this school year, my greatest challenge has been finding a positive balance between my school life and my social life.

This has been challenging for me this year because I am away from the friends and my family I have back home.

My family is very social, and so they have always been more or less involved in my social life, but here I don’t have the same family circle that I have at home.

As for my school life, I’ve set out a few goals that I would like to achieve this year, and wrapping my mind around those goals, along with my social life in mind, is going to be something that I have to overcome constantly.

Unlike many students here at Missouri Baptist University, I’ve actually moved cross-country to attend this university.

This means that I basically had to start over, fall 2014, completely fresh.

For some people, they may have been excited to start over, move away from their families and meet all new people.

But for me, it was really stressful, only having been 18 years old at the time.

Overcoming the changes that have been made in my life recently has been made easier by the people who I have met here.

They’ve been able to spend time with me, and show me how things work here in St. Louis, and have really made the transition smooth.

Like I said, those people have made it easier, but I have to remember I am here as a student, and I plan to succeed in school first.

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By JOSHUA DuBOISE

As I enter this school year, my greatest challenge has been managing my time.

Having so many positions on campus and taking 18 credit hours, I find trying to acquire a balance of my time is very crucial.

Being an resident assistant and an audio technician for the MBU’s ministry groups, keeping a schedule of times and due dates is very useful.

I’m trying to stay ahead of my assignments and not procrastinate.

I also have a job in Student Activities that adds more to my load each week.

Although my workload can often be stressful, my friends can definitely be an encouragement to me throughout each week.

Being in the positions I’m in can often be tedious, but they are pretty enjoyable and they have their perks.

I enjoy being able to meet people from many different backgrounds, and MoBap has a huge diversity of people.

Time alone can be beneficial, but being able to interact and be involved in campus activities adds to my experience here at MBU.

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By ERIC PHILLIPS

There’s a level of unease that comes with becoming a part of a new environment.

Being a person who is extremely comfortable in his home environment, my biggest challenge now at the beginning of my first semester at Missouri Baptist University has been forcing myself to adjust to a place that is brand new to me.

Because I am a transferring junior to MBU, I’m arriving at the university two years later than most others my age, who are already well-adjusted and plugged in to the campus activities.

Due to my personality type being a blend between an extrovert and an introvert, I realize that I must work to constantly develop new relationships with my new peers, initiating conversations and being as friendly as possible.

I am looking forward to my time here at MBU as I begin to get involved with things here on campus and get to know everyone.

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By MICHAEL MAASEN

As I enter this school year, my greatest challenge has been time management.

This is my junior year of college, and I now have most of my General Eds out of the way.

One thing that for some reason I did not expect to come after those Gen Eds was upper-level classes.

Being a junior, I am taking many of these upper-level classes that tend to include more homework and much more reading than just the regular Gen Eds.

With all of the homework and reading assignments, I have had a lot more to do than last semester and that has really cut into my time management.

The way that I have started coping with all of the reading assignments is by reading one chapter of whatever reading is due next every night.

For instance, if I have five classes that all have reading assignments due next week, it can be really easy to just look at all of the work to be done and be stressed out by it.

Stress is immobilizing.

As before mentioned, I have found that if I just read one chapter per night from the class that has homework due the soonest, the pile of homework slowly but surely shrinks.

I try not to read any more than one chapter, because it really is enough.

This method keeps the stress down, but requires dedication and lack of procrastination.

No matter how tired I am, I just have to keep in mind that one chapter really is not that long, and that I can make it.

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By SHANNON McANDREW

As I enter this school year, my greatest challenge has been finding time for everything.

I am taking 19 credit hours and finding time for work, school and friends can be difficult to accomplish.

The best way I have found for dealing with this problem is scheduling and setting my priorities straight.

Schoolwork is my top priority since I want to be able to keep my academic scholarship.

I am a procrastinator and if I do not complete my assignments right away, I find that is when I become overwhelmed.

In order to overcome this, I try to complete my work as soon as I receive the assignment.

After schoolwork, I try to put in a couple of hours for work study since I need to complete 10 hours every week.

Once all my responsibilities are finished for the day I can enjoy spending time with my family and friends without the stress of school and work.

In the end, not only am I able to relax, but I am also able to relieve some of the stress in my life.

My advice to those struggling with the same problem is to make sure you have your priorities straight and then everything should fall into place.

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By CHRISTIAN ROBINSON

My biggest challenge this year will be procrastination.

Procrastination is something that I have struggled with during my schooling in the past.

This year I want to make sure that this doesn’t occur because I want to be able to avoid the stress and I also want to make sure that I put my best work out there.

Especially since my classes now are dealing more with my future career and what I do in these classes can have a lasting impact on my future.

My last semester of school I would always wait until the night before to begin working on homework and sometimes even papers.

The worst time was when I had a 15-page research paper in my philosophy class and I didn’t start until two days before it was due. At the time I was working until 10 p.m. every night so I didn’t have a lot of free time to work on homework.

My biggest procrastination problem I found was when I would take online classes. I would end up turning in homework with only two or three minutes left until the deadline.

I’ve combatted this by making sure not to take any online classes so that I won’t be tempted to procrastinate like this.

In making sure that I don’t procrastinate, I have set aside time each day that is wholly devoted to homework or any other type of school work that needs to be done.

Since doing this I’ve been able to work ahead on all of my class work and I haven’t had to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning working on school work, which has really helped with being prepared for class in the morning because I’m not dead tired from staying up all night.

This will have to be something I make sure I stick with so that I am able to stay less stressed throughout the school year and am able to present my best work for all of my classes.

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By JULIA PROVINCE

As the school year begins I’ve found it challenging to keep everything organized and properly scheduled.

I’ve always been one who can keep my space and belongings organized quite easily, but it requires more conscious effort on my part to keep ideas, assignments and events organized.

In order to keep these things together I have employed a few different strategies.

The thing I’ve found most helpful is my tiny notebook, which I carry at all times and jot down all assignments and important information in.

I’ve also purchased dry erase board calendars that I can post all due dates and events on.
These items have helped me greatly.

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