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How to Balance HOSA with the Chaos of College

I was lucky in high school. I could study right before the test and do fine, finish my homework before I even got out of school, and I breezed my way through. But for any HOSA member who’s now going on to college, let me be the first to tell you that that surely isn’t the case anymore.

At my high school, we had the same seven classes every day, so when I thought of transitioning to college, where you only have certain classes on certain days, I figured life was going to be SO much easier. Of course, it wasn’t. When you’re in college, there’s no one there to force you to do your homework or study for your exams or make you go to class-- it’s all on YOU. You are finally becoming the adult you’ve always wanted to be!

Adding on top of my transition from high school to college, I was elected as an officer for Indiana HOSA. As an officer, I have extra duties I’m responsible for and I had to miss some days of school for our conferences and school visits. Now that I no longer had someone to collect my homework or personally give me my assignments, it was even more crucial to stay on top of things.

I learned very quickly that the best thing you could ever have in college is a planner. I write down all of my assignments for the week, big exams and presentations provided in my syllabus, sorority meetings and required events, and all of my HOSA deadlines and our HOSA conferences. Being able to see these things on a larger scale in comparison to each other takes some of the anxiety out of worrying about getting overwhelmed. I can get assignments done well in advance that would have been due when I was going to miss school and I can work on my HOSA duties early so I’m not stressing so much when the due date creeps up.

I also work hard to make lists. Nothing is more satisfying to me than being able to cross something off of a list. It pushes me to accomplish my goals faster and sometimes, even makes me set MORE goals so that I have more to cross off. I keep a stack of post-it notes with me all the time and I’m constantly making small lists of things that pop in to my mind that I’d also like to accomplish.

Along with making lists and writing things in your planner comes prioritizing. Is there something big you need to start now? Should you finish a smaller assignment first? Being able to adequately prioritize assignments will take a weight off your shoulders.

Communication is KEY. Always go to your professors beforehand and get assignments or communicate with them when you are going to miss school. At my university, the professors are very understanding and always willing to work with me to make sure I can have an equal opportunity to complete assignments as that of my fellow students.

Look for Health Professionals Clubs. My college didn’t have a HOSA chapter when I got there, but had several Nursing, Pre-Health, and Health Professional Clubs. I was able to connect with one of these clubs and talk to their advisor about all the wonderful things their members could do through our organization--we’re now working together to join forces and try to start a University of Evansville HOSA Chapter.

Something I found in high school was that my HOSA events tied in really well with what I was learning in some of my classes. Pathophysiology was a lot like what I had learned in Anatomy. Biomedical Laboratory Science was a lot like our Project Lead the Way Classes. This is definitely something to keep in mind when you are selecting your event in college. If you think you will have enough time or your interest is truly peaked by something out of your area of study, by all means, choose it! But if you’re looking to hone in the skills you already have or develop skills closely related to your intended field of study, be sure to pick something that ties in to your profession!

Don’t let your love for HOSA diminish when you join college. College is a busy time and you may feel overwhelmed sometimes, but never forget how passionate you were for this organization. Bring that love to others on your campus and keep fueling your own love for HOSA!

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