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Advising Center - Overcoming Obstacles

This guide provides information and advice for college students about common obstacles they face such as time management, procrastination, and early morning classes.


Students often find it difficult to get to their early morning classes whether that’s on time or at all.  Most of the difficulty comes from learning how to manage your time.  For some students, that means learning the delicate balance between academics, work, and life.  For others, that means learning how to be independent for the first time. 


Here are some keys to success for helping you make the grade in those early morning classes:


Give yourself rules.  Being in College means learning our own boundaries and finding our own paths to success.  Give yourself some rules when it comes to studying, socializing, and working. Choose times and days that are “off-limits” to certain activities and people.  Set up a calendar and let others know when you have time for them.   


Hold yourself accountable.  Once you give yourself rules, you have to stick to them!  Hold yourself accountable by saying “no” to people and things that fall outside of the rules, “give back” time to something that you took time away from, and give yourself rewards for when you follow through.


Work with your technology.  If you have a smart device, get the mornings started off the right way by setting it to play your favorite song.  You can also use a smart device to set an alarm and a back-up alarm to make sure you are out the door on time.  Set reminders for things you might forget as you’re rushing out the door, so you don’t waste time and energy thinking about them.    


But know when to shut it off.  If we stay on our devices at night, we can lose track of time.  Set an alarm at night that tells you it’s time to shut it down.  You can also use dimming apps that will slowly dim the screen to let you know it’s time to unplug.


Know yourself. Time yourself to figure out the length of your morning routine. How long does it take you from waking up, to shower, to put clothes on, to pack your bag, and head out the door? Time your route to class. How long does it take you to walk / drive to your class?  Once you figure out this time you will know how much time you need to prepare in the morning.


Trick yourself.  It’s okay to admit that you’re not good at early mornings.  It’s not okay to let that become an excuse.  Sometimes, you have to trick yourself. Set your alarm out of arm’s reach, so you’re not tempted to hit the snooze button.  Lay out your clothes the night before to minimize the amount of time you spend looking for an outfit.


Get your support system involved. Sometimes, we need a little extra help in the morning.  If you have roommates, have them help you with your early morning routine.  If you have some long-distance support, ask them to give you a call in the morning to see if you’re awake.


Don't forget to download our Key to Success in the Quick Access Printables box on this page.