"Limitless paper in a paperless world" was the tagline Michael Scott developed for the ad he made for the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. That episode premiered in 2007, when we all thought the world would soon be paperless. Many processes and jobs have moved to mostly or fully virtual systems, and YET...
There's a reason why we do things on paper! It's clearer, personal preference, or allows you to manipulate things. You get the amazing feeling of crossing something off of a to do list. We teach students this in school, often requiring students take home an "agenda" or planner to get signed by a parent. But once we stop checking? Most students stop keeping a written planner.
College kids: KEEP A PLANNER! Let's dismantle each of the arguments against writing things down in a planner.
For High School Students:
Most schools still provide students with a planner or agenda at the beginning of the year. USE THEM! Writing down your homework, major due dates, upcoming events and meetings, etc. will help you be more productive and remember everything you have to do. It's a good habit to get into, and WAY better than your phone or computer.
Writing things down also makes it easier to make a plan and relieves anxiety. When you write something down it's a lot less overwhelming than it seems when it's all in your head!
You're PAYING to attend college, so going to class is your choice, right? You're pretty smart, and your bed is so inviting (perhaps after a rough night or weekend 🍻), you'll just learn the material on your own. What could go wrong?
This is the worst slippery slope you can start to go down in college, and could lead to catastrophe (unreliability, poor work ethic, lack of motivation, bad grades, flunking out, and more). All it usually takes is this happening semi-successfully one time, and you're on the path to never attending a college class again.
You are PAYING to attend college, so NOT going to class is like burning money. You're pretty smart, but the material you're learning is usually painful to read about or confusing, and you'll often spend 2-3 times longer trying to teach yourself material you could've learned from an expert if you just WENT TO CLASS. That's also assuming that you're actually going to learn the material outside of class; in our experience, that's just wishful thinking.
Another important thing to remember is that just because a friend did/does it, doesn't mean it's right for YOU. Part of college is learning about how you best learn and work, and not just doing what everyone else is doing. If you're worried about being judged for going to class, those people are NOT your friends.
Here's the bottom line: in the BEST case scenario, you get to sleep in for a few hours or watch Netflix or play video games. The WORST case scenario is that you don't make up the work, you stop going to classes altogether (because why bother? No one is yelling at you and your parents don't know!), and you fail out of college.
For Virtual Learning Students:
For all of you distance/virtual learning students out there, this college tip is crucial for YOU! If you don't go to class, we can almost guarantee that you will NOT learn the material on your own. Not going to class might be salvageable in the short term for some classes, but for classes in which the material builds on itself (math processes, English reading, history chronology, science concepts, etc.) not going to class will likely be a total disaster.
Also going to class gets you awake, talking to/being around people, and (hopefully) thinking. If you struggle with motivation, depression, time management, or keeping a routine during distance learning then you MUST go to class. This is the first step on your way to college/life success: waking up for responsibilities.
We promise, this isn't a gimmick. We will literally send you a box jam-packed with resources to make distance learning just a little bit easier! And it's free.
We're glad you asked! If you didn't, you should say "Why?" now 😂, that way this conversation makes sense.
Simply: we want to help. We desperately want to make sure that students succeed during distance learning. We're teachers and saw how tough virtual school was on students, families, and whole school communities. We were raised to believe that if there's even a chance to do something right, we should take it.
We thought about all of the things that distance learning caused and made us think/feel, and we collected posters, items, coupons, and more to make your life easier. We want to help, and this is how we can do it best. And it's all free!
Go to Survive.AytoZee.com and fill out the form to get your survival package! Obviously because they're free we only have a limited supply, so make sure you sign up today!
With more and more school districts opening virtually to start the school year, it's more important than ever to take advantage of distance learning. Improve your skills, character, habits, and knowledge by joining our mailing list today, like us on Instagram, and follow us on Facebook and you WILL be ready for the coming school year, no matter what it throws at you.
You can do this. We can all do this. If you want help coming up with a personalized action plan, send us a message on our coaching page!
Thank you for joining us in our mission to prepare students for the real world. We wouldn't want to do it with anyone else. 💚
Would you sit on your computer scrolling through social media during work and expect to get paid? (Hint: you shouldn't... 😂) So why would you do it during college?
The most sure way to succeed in college is to treat it like a job. After all, the average cost of college for one year in the United States ranges from $10,000 to $30,000 (and can easily be more than twice that depending on the school). Considering the starting salaries of college graduates, many graduates could make a yearly salary less than what they paid to attend college for quite a few years.
You are PAYING what could be more than your future yearly salary for the opportunity to learn, so why would you distract yourself with the internet?
Computers are one of the biggest double-edged swords to plague college students today. Many think they will be efficiency boosters or organizational fix-alls, and are then confused when they don't remember learning material in class or they have to study harder than classmates.
According to hundreds of studies, handwriting notes helps you remember more material for longer because it forces you to more deeply engage with the material. Instead of typing verbatim, you must filter information as you hear it and put it in your own words.
Also if you use a pen, pencil, and/or notebook, you are NOT on your computer (your biggest distraction during class besides your phone). So there you have it: there are no downsides to writing your notes by hand instead of typing them on your computer. You'll be less easily distracted AND you'll remember more.
Do you get stressed by all the work you have to do, but never start working on it until the last minute?
Do you procrastinate, but always seem to get the work done in the end?
Do you often fail to meet deadlines and suffer the consequences?
Do you start assignments a day or two before they're due?
Work will expand to fill the time allotted.
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, or you struggle with procrastination, you should learn about Parkinson's Law!
Deadlines motivate people, and impending deadlines either motivate or make them feel overwhelmed. If you procrastinate too much, that feeling of being overwhelmed permeates your life and makes you feel anxious, stressed, and on edge; none of these feelings are healthily sustainable.
Most work gets done very close to a deadline.
For most people I've met, creating artificial deadlines doesn't work because not-so-deep-down inside they know the real deadline, so the artificial one does not motivate them. However, this is because they also fail to BREAK DOWN their task into smaller chunks.
How can you use Parkinson's Law to your advantage?
Our coaches are working around the clock putting together resources to help YOU!
NOTE: All of our College Success tips work for ANY level of school!