One of the biggest stressors in our lives is time management. Being a college student is hard work when balancing classes, internships, work, sports and clubs and other on-campus activities. However, this is the perfect opportunity to develop time management skills that will continue to be be beneficial long after college.
When I was in college, I had to balance my social life, five classes, work, interning, working out and my sorority obligations. How did I do it? Well, I gained some skills that helped me get through my academic career while still being committed to my sorority.
Here are some tips that you can use to help you balance school and sorority:
1. Plan Out Your Day
I developed time management skills through planning out my day. Instead of using a planner, I created an online schedule of my classes. After talking to my academic advisor during my first year in college, I created an online class schedule of what classes I wanted to take during the times of day I knew I would be most productive. When making your own schedule, be sure to consider the times you know you work best. Personally, I worked better during night times, and I knew many students did not like to be in class after 6 p.m., so I scheduled most of my classes at night.
Another consideration is thinking about taking hybrid, online and even night classes. The reason why is because these classes are more flexible. For instance, my last year of college I was balancing six classes, work, an internship, working out and sorority life all by taking hybrid and night classes. By planning out my days and working when I would be most productive, I was able to have more free time in my schedule.
2. Work Around Your Class Schedule
Having gaps between your class schedule is a great way to get some work done so you aren’t up all night doing homework. During my first year, I had morning classes and had a gap between each class. I took the opportunity to complete as many assignments as I could before my next class. Most of my time, I ended up going home for a relaxing night!
There were also times where I had a large multiple-hour gap before my next class, giving me time to work at my job or an internship. These gaps between classes are a great way to get your other tasks done. Taking advantage of this time to be productive will be beneficial to you and your mental health in the long run.
3. Focus on Your Priorities
There will be times where you will have projects or exams due on the same day. Prioritize your time and on the tasks that need to be done first. If you are struggling in a certain class, but are doing well in another, then take more time to study for the class you’re struggling in. Prioritize your tasks to help you organize your work.
By planning out your day, working around your class scheduling and giving yourself plenty of time, you can reduce stress and get your work done.
4. Do Little by Little Every Day (AKA Don’t Procrastinate)
This is the BEST thing any student can do during their college career. Having multiple things to get done at once is just impossible. I remember my sister telling me that doing things little by little every day is the perfect way to get things done and not overwhelm yourself. I remember scheduling ‘homework and study blocks’ in my schedule where I would focus on my assignments. Whenever I had a paper to write, I would write one page a day until the paper was completed. NEVER PROCRASTINATE on your assignments. I never had to stay up all night writing a paper, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t ever happen. Doing things little by little is a great way to prevent sleep deprivation and unnecessary stress.
5. Don’t Forget About Your Physical and Mental Health
All of the above steps are to help you take care of your mental health and not get overwhelmed, but taking care of yourself physically is important too. College can be an overwhelming experience, causing us to become easily stressed, let our academics drop, and have bad experiences. Remember to take a break to recuperate and replenish. At the end of the day, I would go to the gym on campus and workout for an hour. Not only was it healthy, but it also allowed me to destress from the day of hard work. Your body and mind need to relax, so make time for that.
Overall, having time management skills is the perfect thing to have that helps you through in and out of college. Even now, I have a busy schedule, but due to my time management skills, I can conquer the day without negatively draining my body. It’s all about developing a routine and sticking to it.