Posts Tagged ‘time management in college’

Lessons in a Balancing Act: How to Manage School, Clubs, and a Social Life

Categories: College Life

Lessons in a Balancing ActWhat’s so hard about college?

You might think it’s the coursework. After all, college level academics are more difficult than high school academics, and often times, the methods used to teach a college level course are unfamiliar to a freshman. You might think the hard part of college is making friends, as you’ve likely left most of yours, along with your family, behind.

While the academic and social aspects of college can be challenging, the students who haven’t figured out how to balance everything are those that have the toughest time. The demands of college students are high, and they’re coming from every direction: you have two professors expecting papers by the end of the week, your club meets every Wednesday, your RA is holding a mandatory event tonight, you have a group presentation tomorrow, Mom wants you to call her, and your best friend just broke up with her high school sweetheart and she needs you right now. Feeling stressed yet? Most college kids do.

So what are you going to do about it?

Well, you could simply throw your pens in the air and say, “Forget this! College is too hard!” and walk out. There are plenty of students who do. Or, you could learn how to balance all of these activities in a way that brings you success and happiness!

Your first lesson is a basic one: get yourself a planner (and use it)! Write down when your assignments are due and when you plan to do them. Schedule in your weekly meetings, even if it seems obvious that you’re busy at 7 p.m. every Monday. Note test days, birthdays, off-campus parties, visits home, group project meetings, campus events, when construction is going to be blocking your typical entrance to your campus, when you’ll need a new toothbrush, and everything else you need to remember. Color code it if you have to! Pour your life into this thing because your mind will not be able to handle it all.

Your second lesson, one that many people have a difficult time with, is being able to recognize when things are about to get crazy, and doing something about it. When you’re documenting everything in a planner, it will only take you a moment to realize there’s a dark and twisty Tuesday coming up where you have a twelve page paper due, two meetings scheduled for the same time, and coffee with your ex where you’ll discuss whether or not you’re getting back together. Yikes. Understand that this is a storm warning, and you’ll need to make preparations for it.

Your final lesson in performing a successful balancing act is being able to prevent spillage from one demand into another. Focus on the task at hand. If it’s homework time, don’t get on the phone for an hour. If your friend is visiting from another college, don’t spend that time polishing the final words of a paper. Think of your demands like paint: while a few mix nicely, too many mixed together makes an ugly greenish brown.

7 Ways You Can Give Your Schedule a Makeover This Semester

Categories: College Life

Managing your time as a college student isn’t easy! Besides going to class, there’s little else you have to do at a precise time. It’s up to you where you squeeze in meals, sleep, studying, partying, exercise, club activities, and trips home. Fitting everything in perfectly is like working on a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle, but it can be done. Check out these seven tips that can help you turn your crazy schedule into something you can control.

Prioritize

This will be the most important thing you learn when it comes to your schedule as a college student. You will find yourself constantly asking, which of these activities is more important? Which of these papers should I start today? How should I spend my evening? If you can learn to accurately evaluate your needs, you will have overcome the greatest challenge of managing your schedule!

Get Down to Business

One of the best things you can do for your time management is to jump right into whatever it is you planned to do. If homework time is after your last class, get right on it. If you like to eat at 6 p.m., don’t spend that hour deciding what it is you want. If you can eliminate wasted time, it will surprise you how much time you actually have!

Eliminate Your Distractions

While it’s probably more enjoyable to text your friends and to watch TV while you work on reading a chapter in sociology, it’s going to take up far more time than it should. You’ll find that when you focus only on your work, you’ll finish faster, understand more, and you’ll have more time and focus to dedicate to fun!

Eliminate What Bores You

If you find yourself in your second year of college going to club meetings for a group your heart is no longer in, do your schedule a favor by letting it go. Your time is too valuable to waste it on things you’re not into anymore.

Organize

While organizing your notes, your room, and your car will take a lot of effort at first, the return is a real time savor!  This will help you to keep your time “looking for stuff” to a minimum!

Assign Time for Fun

It’s important to do well in school, but it’s also important that you have enough time with your friends. You need a personal life outside of academia! Designate a specific time each week to do something great! “Bad Movie Mondays” or “Pancake Sunday” will give you something to look forward to all of the time!

Assign Time for Sleep

Your sleep is important. Too little of it has its effects, from putting you in a sour mood, to allowing you to make careless mistakes on assignments that could potentially harm your grades. This semester, help your schedule by recognizing your bedtime. When you’re feeling your best, you’ll have more power to get stuff done!