By Pauline Verzosa
Click Before You Think. With the World (Wide Web) at our fingertips, stopping at default search engines to find answers to everything can be very tempting. Instead of using Wikipedia or general websites, take your research a step further by checking Google Scholar or iTunes U. These platforms filter junk websites and show an expansive list of reliable academic sources. Don’t forget to give credit where credit is due to avoid committing serious crimes like plagiarism. (Yes, you can be put behind bars for up to six years for being a copycat!) This is a good practice for establishing credibility, especially when it’s time to write all those term and thesis papers!
Knowledge Is Power. Don’t limit yourself to posting tweets, selfies, status updates, or Snaps when you’re online. No amount of followers or likes can give you the same satisfaction as—wait for it—knowledge! Stir your curiosity and immerse yourself in life-changing discourse on the Web instead of indulging in Facebook or Twitter wars. TED Talks, Quora, and Zen Habits are just some of the many websites you can log on to so as to quench that intellectual thirst.
Rewire Your Brain. Jumpstart your semester by investing in a handy planner that has actual leaves of paper. Ditch the applications that promise to remind you about your task—be self-reliant instead! Make it a habit to write down the things you have to do, have done, and want to do by coming up with a system that works for you. Stimulating your visual memory helps in remembering things, so don’t be afraid to let your artsy flag fly!
Divide and Conquer. If you have an exam or a paper due in three hours yet you still find the time to rant on Twitter, then you need to double up! Desperate times call for desperate measures. Applications and web extensions like Self-Control, Freedom, and FocusBooster act as deterrents to distractions by blocking certain sites for a period of time. You’ll surely be more productive once you’re able to set your full attention on whatever you need to accomplish!
Make Friends. Do you ever feel like a moth constantly drawn to the light of your screen? Get off your feet and start a bucket list that doesn’t involve technology. College is the best time to explore interests and hone skills. Why not start in your very own university? Try spoken word poetry, apply for an exchange program, join a marketing competition, or start your own business! With the emergence of various startups in the metro, student orgs such as UpStart can help turn students’ ideas into companies. You might just be the next Mark Zuckerberg!
Live Young. Don’t limit yourself to conversations in blue, gray, or green bubbles. The time you spend on social media is time spent away from family, loved ones, and, yes, schoolwork. In your attempt to feel “connected,” you may find that you’re actually disconnecting from reality. Take a mini-vacation from the digital space and invite your loved ones to an intimate day out. Visit the National Museum, attend a Bambikes Ecotour in Intramuros, Manila or go see a play of PETA’s. Remember to be in the moment once in a while. Stop worrying about which photo to post next!
ALSO READ: The Six Fix: A College Survival Guide
Image by Rxandy Capinpin. Styling Red Dimaandal. Grooming Xy Eugenio for Inglot Cosmetics. Hair Jaypee Valera of Triple Luck Nail & Brow Salon. Model Van Allan Flores, John Erwin Tan, and Ale Patiu.