Time Management: So Much To Do, So Little Time!
Mamie Covell ’21
In high school groups of students moved from class to class and teachers reminded you of upcoming important dates frequently. College is a time where that changes. Your schedule will likely be unique to you, and the activities you attend are up to you. There is a sense of freedom you feel when you are in charge of how you spend your time. This is the moment you can do what you want to do!
That being said… Time management is very important! It is part of self-care and preventing that “last week of school total freak out” before finals. When you get your academic schedule, work schedule and figure out where all the puzzle pieces fit, some students stop planning there. But in college there are a lot of other timeslots that need to be carved out.
Extracurricular activities are everywhere. Sports practice, club organization, fraternity or sorority life, on campus events or community gatherings. All of these things have specific time and dates that are set out for. Mark your calendar! Have a specific set of hours that you’re willing to dedicate to extracurricular activities. Creating a balance between social time and academic work will be a helpful skill for the rest of your life. Work to Life balance is a challenge even for the most successful adults.
Having specific time to study will increase your chance of academic success. It’s a great idea to have library hours each week where you establish a routine to go to study for a few hours a week, or more depending on your workload. This is time that no matter how busy your social life gets, or any last-minute events that arise, you will still have your academic work completed and be caught up on all your readings for class. Set library hours will also make it easier for you to connect with peers in your classes. If a group project member asks for your availability, you will have those times ready to share. When midterms and finals come around, you can say before class starts “I will be at the library from 3:00-5:00 studying If anyone wants to join me!” Peer support is vital when you are preparing for exams. The ability to establish hours for studying will make it easier to communicate with your classmates and coordinate study sessions. There are a lot of plates spinning in the air when your manager schedule in college, so write everything down.
Random tasks that may fall under the “housekeeping” category may seem minor but stack up quickly. College students often are experiencing living on their own for the first time. Make time on your schedule and plan for things like laundry, grocery shopping, budgeting and calling home. When you have multiple classes, a job, and extracurriculars, time will fly by. It is not a great experience when you realize none of the laundry is done, and you have a massive exam the next day. If the housekeeping tasks are a part of your routine schedule it will make life a whole lot easier.
Figure out what type of scheduling process works for you. Some people use a handwritten planner with their school assignments, work schedule, and events all written in one place. Others have their calendar fully digitized so it can be accessed through their smart phone. Never forget the classic “To-Do” list! It can be helpful to write out your responsibilities and be satisfying to cross of tasks. Your schedule is up to you to maintain.
College brings a freedom in having control of what you do with your time. With freedom comes responsibility. Remember that managing your time is not only work and school. Your schedule needs to include extracurricular activities, social time, self-care, study hours, and even housekeeping. Establishing a routine will make you feel more settled and in control as the school year gets busy around you. Find out what works for you and remember to always make time for you to relax!