You’ve probably heard it before: Time management in college is crucial. I’m here to tell you again, and to give you a few tips on how to actually manage your time effectively in college.
1. Use a Calendar
I’m sure I’m not the first person to give this rather rudimentary piece of advice, but using a calendar, whether a physical one or on your phone, will save you so much time and ensure that you don’t miss any of the many deadlines you’ll have in college. Once your professors send out their syllabi, make sure to plug the various due dates into your calendar to have your entire semester planned out. That way, you can plan your extracurricular activities and other social events around your academic schedule. I made the mistake of booking a trip to visit my friends in New York City the weekend before my Microeconomics midterm, and, needless to say, I suffered academically for not planning ahead of time in a calendar.
2. Stick to an Eating Schedule
As silly as it sounds, going off to college will be the first time that you are fully in charge of your own eating schedule. That being said, in order to keep a healthy metabolism and to maintain a normal cycle, it is important to set up an eating schedule for yourself. I make sure to keep cereal bars in my room for a quick breakfast before class that can hold off my hunger until lunchtime. I consistently eat dinner at six o’clock, which gives me enough time to work on assignments before my meal and go to my various club meetings afterward.
3. Zero In on Extracurricular Activities
In college, the options for extracurricular activities and clubs seem limitless. From club sports to Greek life, professional development seminars to creative writing workshops, your college or university will host a number of student-run organizations that you will have the opportunity to enjoy. While I encourage you to try anything and everything that interests you, be sure not to overcommit. By the end of your first year, you should have an idea of two or three clubs that you will want to stick with and climb your way up the leadership ladder. For me, it’s my university’s radio station.
4. Don’t Forget About You
While being a college student comes with a host of privileges and responsibilities, remember that you are still human and have limits. Find a secret getaway spot where you can relax away from your room (whether you like your roommate or not, you will want a break from the constant interaction). This could be a grassy knoll on the quad or the seclusion of a hole-in-the-wall café.
It’s also easy to get caught up in your new college life and forget about your family and friends. While it’s easy to send text messages to your parents or high school friends, try to spice it up a little by sending them personalized post cards from your college and neighboring landmarks. You would be surprised by what you might receive in return.
By following these four easy steps, you will find that the majority of your stress will dissipate from the college transition process. Effective time management in college puts you in a healthier mental state, which, in turn, is reflected in your course grades.
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