Time Management in College
Managing time is never easy, regardless of the position you are in. That’s why it’s always important to prepare yourself to have all the tools you need for time management when it’s most important. In college, you become incredibly independent. The structure of your day will heavily rely on how you create it. I am going to give you a little advice for when it comes to creating your schedule, balancing work, balancing social life, and ensuring sleep.
Creating Your Schedule
As I’m sure you know, in college you get the liberty to choose your own academic schedule. This can be both a blessing and a curse, considering that no guidance counselor is required to approve it. My biggest advice when it comes to choosing your schedule is to force yourself to include allotted time slots for meals, naps (if necessary), and travel time. Freshman year, there were many times when I would tell myself that skipping a meal is alright, if it means I need to get to class. This might work out for some of you, but at least allowing yourself to have the option for self care will always be appreciated by future you.
Also, understand how long it will take to travel from one class to the next, especially if you have classes on multiple campuses or live off campus. Take some extra time in the morning to ensure that the CTA is not behind.
Freshman year, I worked in the Undergraduate Admissions office, which meant I had a regular shift to attend a few times a week. In order to keep non-academic commitments in order, I suggest writing them down in either a planner or a calendar. For me, it really helps to set a reminder on my phone, since I know that I practically have it with me at all times. The first few weeks, I certainly didn’t know how not be forgetful. After the first few weeks, your bad habits will start to become predictable. Find ways to counter these patterns once they make themselves known.
School work is difficult to balance because it changes from quarter to quarter. For me, I need to use a planner for the first few weeks until I start to figure out the pattern of my classes. Find what works for you! Again, it is easier to manage once you spend a few weeks observing and recognizing what you need to work on. Your academic advisor can also assist with the creation of a balanced schedule. You can request an appointment on BlueStar, which is on Campus Connect.
Balancing Social Activities
Social events are more difficult to account for than school, as you never know when the opportunity might come up to do something fun. Always be cognizant of due dates! A lot of papers and assignments are turned in online in college, which means a lot of papers due at 11:59. I suggest making up disciplinary rules for yourself, for example: never wait until 4 or less hours before a due date, go to bed, no matter what, at 11pm, etc.
Also, remember that class attendance is incredibly essential when it comes to being successful in college. Don’t sacrifice going to class because of a late night. In certain classes, most of the grade is attendance. So be weary!
Sleep is a very challenging thing to account for in college, since you have so many responsibilities and opportunities to stay up late (whether that be for academic reasons or social events). I suggest figuring out the best ways in which your body cycles sleep. For me, I find that increments of 90 minutes allow me to go through one full sleep cycle. This can vary from person to person, but will really help you decide what time to go to bed on late nights when early mornings follow.