IMG_1436When I think of a fellow college student that I admire, Danielle Nelton is who comes to mind.

On paper we have a lot in common: we’re both full time students, girlfriends, dog moms, and servers. However, there’s one huge difference between us. While I’m always a ball of nerves, you’ll never see her sweat.

It wasn’t always easy

Danielle, Dani for short, is considered a non-traditional student, meaning that she spent some time away from school. During her senior year of high school Dani suffered a loss that changed the course of her academic career. The following August she began Nicholls as planned, but admits while coping with the loss she couldn’t prioritize school.

After taking time off, Dani decided to go back to school. This time around, she started by taking a smaller amount of hours and putting a larger emphasis on school, which she couldn’t do in her previous semesters. These changes lead to her first 4.0 semester, and as they say, the rest is history.

Making the most out of your time

While working as both a server and manager, Dani still maintains a 3.8 GPA

Dani sets a day aside to look through the upcoming assignments she has due and starts with whatever is most important. Everything that’s left she says, gets done between work and school.

“When it comes to time, it’s not so much how much time, like the quantity of it, it’s really how you use it.”

It’s not all school and work though, Dani set her work schedule to have every Friday off. On these days, she doesn’t open a single textbook. She says this is her time to do things that bring her happiness, whether it’s spending time with her family or with her fiancée and their dogs.

Being more than just a student

According to Dani, a mistake many college students make is that they go out on weekends to relieve the stress of school, but come Monday morning, the same stressors are still there. The healthiest way she’s found to release both the stress of being a student and everyday stress, is by talking to her mom daily. “Taking the time out of the day to listen to someone else and not talk about myself really puts things into perspective.” she says.

“She puts her all into her studies while equally devoting herself to her personal life.” – Bree Daigle

Dani with her fiancée Bree and their two dogs

Dani’s list of things every student needs to do now:

  • Make a set work schedule
  • Get a hobby to relieve stress (that doesn’t involve alcohol)
  • Set a sleep pattern, and stick to it even on the weekend
  • Surround yourself with people who support you
  • Take a deep look at where your stress is really coming from