One of the most frequent requests that I get is to do a post on how I manage(d) my time in college. Since we’re about a month away from the beginning of a new semester (and the very first semester for some of y’all!), I thought this would be a perfect time to address it!
College is kind of a difficult balancing act because, whether you’re in a sorority, working part-time, playing sports, or interning, it always feels like you’re being pulled in a million different directions! That’s why it’s so important to learn how to tell people “no” in order to successfully do it all (which I still struggle with on a daily basis)!
It is very important to give yourself time to complete your schoolwork. Whether you’ll need to spend a few hours researching in the library, quizzing yourself over your textbook, or writing all of your super long papers, you WILL NEED this time for something. Every single week.
So, don’t pick up shifts at work during these times. Don’t plan lunch dates with your friends during these times. And schedule those times realistically, don’t make it a Friday or Saturday night because you know that there one billion things to tempt you away from your schoolwork!
Equally as important as scheduling in time for your schoolwork, make sure to schedule in time for your friends! Of course, every college student has to make sacrifices, but you definitely don’t want to go MIA just because school started!
Because I worked in a restaurant in undergrad, my “friend time” usually ended up being after work on Friday and Saturday nights. We would already be together and have a ton of energy from running around like crazy all night. So, I just knew that I had the time built in to hang out with all of my favorite people!
Tell your boss you have a class if you need to. What I found out during my first semester of college was that if I let my boss know every time that I was out of class, he would schedule me to work every time that I was out of class. You need to account for time to study at home, too!
This day off is basically like your safety net. It’s a day to do laundry, to finish up assignments, to clean out your car, and to just recover from your crazy busy week (or prepare for the next crazy busy week). Since you schedule your own classes, you are responsible for giving yourself time to unwind!
So, when you’re working during your “Study Time” be sure that you start with your “high priority” (or most quickly approaching due dates) first. Just because you never know what could come up before your next “study time”. Sure, I said not to schedule anything during study times, but what if your long-lost best friend comes in town, or it’s your dad’s birthday, or you need to visit someone in the hospital, or meet with your advisor?
We can plan and plan, but life still finds a way to things sneak surprises into our plans all the time. Make sure you always take care of your most time-sensitive material first.
College is, of course, an important time for working hard and making good grades. BUT at the same time, that isn’t what you want to spend all of your time doing, or you’ll miss out on all of the fun memories that it has to offer! You want to look back on this time and remember how much fun you had, not how you spend every night locked in your dorm with a textbook. You just have to find your own line between discipline and flexibility!
Just remember that time management is all about excellent planning! 🙂
How do you balance your class time, social time, and study time?
What tips do you have for time management in college?