The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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How EIU students manage busy majors

Freshman education major, Alyssa Vergara works on her math 1160 homework in the bridge lounge of the Martin Luther King Jr. Union Monday. Vergara continued to work on her homework after a tutoring session from a math professor. She listed the campus being close to home, a small and the professor to student ratio as the reasons she chose Eastern.
Being in a busy major can lead to difficulties with time management from having a heavy workload on top of other responsibilities. (File)

Choosing a major is a significant decision that shapes students’ academic paths and future career opportunities.  

Some majors are known for being particularly demanding and time-consuming, commonly called busy majors. These majors often require a heavy course load, extensive studying and challenging assignments.  

Students pursuing busy majors often find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities, such as having a part-time job, being in sports/clubs and studying. Time management and organizational skills are crucial for success in these majors, as students must find a balance between their academic workload and other commitments.  

“I would say that it’s definitely difficult to manage time with nursing, having work or in the past I’ve had athletics to deal with,” Audrey Hancock, fifth year nursing major said. “Both athletics and nursing are full time jobs, and then it doesn’t leave much time to work.” 

Having a busy major in college can present several challenges for students. One of the main difficulties is the heavy workload and demanding course requirements that come with these majors. 

Typically, with general education classes, freshmen and sophomores have a lighter workload and can focus on more things. But junior and senior year can get overwhelming and stressful because students have major-specific classes. 

Additionally, the rigorous nature of these majors can sometimes make it difficult for students to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

With the many challenges in busy majors, there is always a struggle to stay organized with one’s daily tasks. One popular method is utilizing a planner or digital calendar to schedule assignments, classes and other commitments.  

By having a clear overview of their responsibilities, students can allocate time efficiently and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Furthermore, breaking down large tasks into smaller, manageable steps can make daunting projects more achievable and less overwhelming. 

Another way to ease stress is by making friends within one’s major. 

“It’s definitely good to get friendly with the people in your classes,” Mason Bonds, senior technology engineering major said. “That’s gonna be a big resource for you.”

Above all else, Bonds said, the most important thing to do in a busy major is get work done.   

“That’s the biggest thing in college. You don’t have to get the best grades, but just show up, and get it done,” Bonds said. 

Despite the challenges, many students in busy majors find the experience rewarding and fulfilling, as they can delve deep into their field of study and develop valuable skills that are highly sought after in the job market. 

“You’re learning how to do things with other people, which is good,” Bonds said. “However, at times it can be really stressful because I can work with people, and they may not want to do their jobs. It just gets hectic.”  

In recent years, the fields of nursing and technology are experiencing growth within college programs, said Provost Ryan Hendrickson. This expansion can be attributed to various factors, including the increasing demand for healthcare professionals and the integration of technology in the healthcare industry.  

Nursing education has evolved to incorporate simulation labs, virtual learning platforms, and telemedicine training to provide students with hands-on experience and prepare students for the digital healthcare landscape. 

The competitive nature of these fields can add pressure to perform well academically and secure internships or job opportunities. Students may feel the need to constantly prove themselves and excel in their studies, which can be mentally and emotionally taxing.  

“Some of the very busy majors are very competitive, like nursing or communication disorder sciences,” Hendrickson said. “Those majors take a tremendous amount of academic work and then also have clinical requirements. So those you’re very busy with, teaching majors are out in the schools, and they’re trying to balance their score with also their student teaching responsibilities.” 

This rigorous schedule leaves little room for extracurricular activities or free time, as students need to focus on mastering complex topics and developing critical skills. Students in these majors often have to prioritize their studies over other aspects of their life, which can lead to feeling burnout and isolated. 

“It has put a stress on relationships,” fifth year nursing student Breanna Sheldon said. “I would say my fiancé and I don’t get to see each other as much as we want to. When we are together, I’m either doing homework or just really stressed out.” 

According to Sheldon, finding people to rely on has really helped her, whether they’re friends, family, coaches or professors. She has also used the counseling clinic when things got rough, she said. 

“I would just go there and talk about things and learn time management things or stress relief tactics,” she said.  

Preparing for a busy major in college requires a combination of effective time management, strong study habits and self-care strategies.  

“I’ve really learned a lot about myself in that aspect and how important it is to give yourself that hour or two at night to do something for yourself,” Sheldon said. 

  

Payton Liggins can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributors
Payton Liggins, Reporter
Payton Liggins is a freshman sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.
Justin Brown, Sports Designer
Hello, my name is Justin Brown. I am a non-traditional student in my first year with the Daily Eastern News. This year I will be the sports page designer, occasional photographer and I also hope to write. I recently obtained my associates degree in Journalism at Illinois Central College in East Peoria. Before ICC, I spent close to nine years behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler enjoying the United States one mile at a time. Married with three children, I will be keeping myself as busy as possible in an effort to hurry the trips home to my family every other weekend. I encourage students to find something it is that they enjoy and dive-in, headfirst, and learn as much as possible while also enjoying your time at Eastern and in Charleston. Best of Luck this year and thanks for reading the Daily Eastern News.

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