A common college myth is that it’s impossible to have enough time to keep your grades up while having a social life and getting enough sleep. We’re here to tell you that it is exactly that – a myth.
It’s tough to transition from the days of high school–when almost every hour of your day was scheduled out for you from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm–to all of the free time and independence you have as a college student. So, it’ll take a bit of planning to be sure you’re keeping your life together.
There are ways for you to manage your time so that you know that you’ve used your day to its full potential. Drowning yourself in an eight-page paper in one day won’t provide you with a day of enjoyment, and wasting away the hours binge-watching your favorite Netflix series won’t give you the feeling of productivity. We’ll show you how you can have it all with a few helpful hints!
You might be juggling classes, student organization meetings, and work all at one time – and let us not forget homework, friends, family and working out. If you look at it big picture, it might seem a little overwhelming. It’s important to approach college life with a day-by-day attitude.
Don’t fret about next Monday’s assignment when it’s only Tuesday. Being able to focus on what’s on your plate today or tomorrow will give you peace in mind that it is possible to accomplish all of your obligations.
Keep a planner to keep track of time
Keeping track of each day with a list is super helpful, but keeping track of the months to come and future assignments will give you a look ahead. It’s important to approach your schedule day-by-day, but knowing what’s coming up will give you the ability to work ahead rather than realizing you have an eight-page paper due the next day.
Planners are really helpful when it comes to managing time. Typically, your class syllabus will have the projects and assignment dates listed. Copying those dates down in your planner, even if they’re a month away, will give you the preparedness to know when to start working on those assignments or studying for those exams.
You’ll also be able to write down when your friend asked you to go out to lunch or when your parents might be coming into town. That way, you’ll know what needs to be done to give you that free time that you’ll need!
Taking the time to section out the next day by the hour will help you to stay on track. Start by estimating the amount of time that each task will take, and putting those tasks in between classes. This will help you to see how much you can get done in a day along with your possible amount of relaxation or social time. It’ll also keep you in check with your meetings and class times.
Learn to say no
Being able to say the word ‘no’ will be an important skill while in college and later in your career. It’s totally OK to tell a classmate that you won’t be able to stay late to help them catch up, and it’s absolutely fine to tell your friends you won’t be able to go to that party on Friday.
Having the ability to understand your limits will ultimately give you a better-managed college life.
Scheduling classes can be a little difficult. You’ll want to be sure that you aren’t overloading yourself each semester, but that you’re also getting in your required classes. To be considered a full-time student, you’ll need to take 12-18 hours of classes per semester. 18 hours of class might not seem like a lot at first, but the work outside of class will start to add up. However, some people thrive with a busy workload – if that’s you, go for it!
Just be sure that you’ll be able to handle your schedule and that you’ll be able to commit to those classes. Discussing your class choices with an academic advisor is extremely helpful. They’ll be able to guide you to a doable semester!
With roommates, friends, campus activities, and all the other fun stuff that goes on at college, you might find it hard to keep your focus on classes and homework. If you give yourself an hour to study for a test, be sure to keep your focus for that entire hour.
It helps to have a study routine, for instance, try to study in the same spot. This way, when you approach that study spot, your mind will be set to get stuff done! It’ll also be helpful to keep your study space clean and organized; an organized space promotes an organized mind.
Do. Not. Procrastinate.
We’ve all been there. You’ve forgotten about that test tomorrow and you haven’t even started the study guide. In return for your complacency, you’ll spend the next 10 hours cramming the entire textbook, when you should be eating or sleeping. The good news is that it’s a totally avoidable incident. Studying ahead of time or starting your paper a week early will give you the time to space the information out. Your grade will benefit from it more and you’ll be able to create a little more free time for yourself.
Time management will be crucial to keeping yourself sane and happy throughout your time in college. Ultimately, you’ll be able to find a routine and a schedule that fits you and your daily college life.