Stay focused, on track this spring

At the start of spring semester, it seems like the typical FAMU student is riding high, returning to campus with a new attitude, new goals and high hopes for the weeks ahead.

But some fall off the horse as early as the end of January.

Students tend to lag behind when it comes to handling their academic and extracurricular business.

Soon the effects of procrastination catch up to them, and before they know it, their businesses are handling them.

Once midterms roll around just before Spring Break, students are frenzied and stressed, and that’s after only two months in the semester!

The bottom line is that students need to stay on track if they plan to succeed this semester.

With this in mind, let me be the first to offer some tips from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to help start off strong for the spring semester – and keep it going:

* First, you must take responsibility for yourself. In order to succeed, you must make smart decisions about your priorities, your time and your resources.

* It is also important to center yourself on your values and principles, instead of letting people around you dictate what you consider important.

* You must also put first things first. Follow up on your priorities, and don’t let other people or things distract you from your goals. Make sure you figure out when and where you can be the most focused and productive.

* Also, always consider yourself in a win-win situation, and do your best in everything that you do, no matter who you find yourself doing it for.

* In any situation, you must first understand others, and then attempt to be understood. You should consider the predicament of the person you are collaborating with or working for.

* Then you should always be looking for better solutions to problems. You can’t be afraid to seek help from others when needed. People are resources, too!

* Last, but certainly not least, look to continually challenge yourself. There is no greater distraction than boredom!

You have the tools, so use them and good luck this spring semester.

Karen E. Marsh is a senior business administration student from Denver. She is the Deputy Opinions Editor for The Famuan. Contact Karen E. Marsh at