With Freedom Comes Responsibility

May 12, 2021

Let’s explain: When you turn 18 in the eyes of the law, you’re an adult. You leave school and not long after you're on your way to college or varsity and your own living space.

With Freedom Comes Responsibility

No longer does the bell signal the next class and your mom’s telling you to finish your homework – it’s all on you now. Missing class and assignment dates eventually lead to flunking, which leads to dropping out and never getting your dream job. The responsibility to ensure a positive outcome is now yours, you have the power to get the dream result for your life and career.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

This is one of the core rules of life, sticking to it now will be habit forming and something that will serve you faithfully your whole life.

The simplest example is studying for a test. Put enough time into studying and understanding the subject and you ace the test. It’s a simple concept, one that carries an awesome responsibility.

Some day’s classes may be in the morning, some the afternoon. You may be a sports person and training could be every day or twice a week. Then you have to fit-in research, assignments, exam prep, eating, exercise, showering, leisure time and sleeping.

It’s a lot

Preparation and planning are the only way to get it all done. You’re there to study, so that’s priority number 1 don’t forget that. Here are some practical tips on how to prepare and plan:

  • Once you’ve got your class schedule, use a spreadsheet template designed for this purpose. Microsoft provides the best templates we have found through Excel. Open excel, then click file and new. At the top of the page you will find a search bar. Type ‘student schedules’ in the search bar and various options will appear. We prefer the student calendar. Click on it and start populating it with your schedule. Don’t have excel, ask a friend to email you the template or google free scheduling templates.
  • Add your entire class schedule for the month ahead. This overview of your schedule provides perspective and kick starts your brain into organisation mode.
  • Next, add the schedule of your second priority. This typically takes up the most time after classes such as sport.
  • Should you take part in other activities like debate or drama, add those too.
  • Add nothing else to your schedule just yet, give yourself two weeks to acclimatise to it. After 2 weeks, you will have a good idea where to schedule other things.
  • Seriously, don’t be lazy add the other things that have to get done to your schedule such as cleaning your apartment, a trip home and even calling your parents.

Sleep – Do or Die

Most of us take sleep for granted, smart people don’t. How many times have you heard your parents or grandparents wax lyrical about how important sleep is? Hundreds, so I am sure you don’t want to hear it from us just after escaping their moaning. The importance of sleep to students needs to be discussed a little more.

“I think sleeping was my problem in school. If school had started at four in the afternoon, I’d be a college graduate today.” — George Foreman, former Heavyweight Boxing World Champion.

This comment by George Foreman hits hard, excuse the pun, of exactly why sleep is so important for you. Fortunately for him, he was a skilled boxer. You, though need to be a brilliant student, reduce stress and avoid depression.

To illustrate the point here are a few facts about sleep and the lack of it:

  • 7-9 hours is the recommended amount and improves overall health, ability to cope with stress and the ability to concentrate for longer periods.
  • 5 hours or fewer increases the risk of diabetes by 2.5 times, increases the risk of a heart attack by 45% and increases your risk of death under any circumstances by 12%.

To add insult to injury, lack of sleep actually causes parts of your brain to slow or shut down completely. These are the effects:

Areas of the brain Responsible for Effects of sleep deprivation
Parietal Lobe Maths and Logic Slower thought processes and difficulty forming logical conclusions to problems
Neocortex Memory and Learning Difficulty learning new things and making connections to others
Frontal Lobe Creative thinking Lack of focus, originality and stuttering
Temporal Lobe Language Slurred speech
Prefrontal Cortex Judgement and Visuals Blurred vision and hallucinations

And if that’s not enough to get some shuteye as early as possible, for those trying to stay in shape, less than 7 hours perpetuates weight gain and increases appetite.

So getting enough sleep is as important a responsibility as getting to class. All this responsibility overwhelms us all in the beginning, however if you use our tips and have faith in yourself, you’ll succeed.

Join us now

Good luck from The Fields, the experts in student apartment living based in Hatfield, Pretoria. We are situated in the Hatfield precinct and offer shared or private apartments which can be furnished or unfurnished. We provide safe, comfortable and affordable accommodation, where you’ll be part of a community and be on a on a trajectory to creating your ideal career and life. Let’s have a chat, we’re here to guide you through the entire process.

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