Speaking from experience, after attending two completely different universities the past two years, I’d like to think I have a bit of a handle on this one… I hope.
Managing your time in college can be hard, especially because it’s your first real time out on your own being solely in charge of yourself. You learn things about yourself that you never knew existed, and learn how to master the art of planning out your time. However, with classes, homework, and studying, it’s hard to fit in time for your social life without feeling a sense of guilt (well, at least for some). But, if you’re serious about your studies and future and still want the full college experience at the same time, look no further! You can have both if you’re willing to put in some work, I swear.
1. Be More Efficient with Your Schoolwork
Like mentioned above, managing your time is number one when it comes to living the college life! Ask any student and nine times out of ten, they will agree that there aren’t enough hours in a day. But, because of this, it’s important to utilize your planner and be efficient with your schoolwork so you aren’t saving it until the night before! When living this stressful and fast-paced lifestyle, rewarding yourself with social time (as long as you’ve earned it) can give you motivation to keep working hard. Once you start procrastinating and always put your social life ahead of your school life, you’ll discover very quickly that your grades can slip, and fast too. Make sure you are efficient to create that healthy balance!
2. Always Be Prepared
This one can be paired right along with being efficient but it’s important to bring attention to by itself for the sole reason of how to pack for your day in the morning. Got classes all day? Club meeting at 3? Wanna make it to the library earlier in the day so you have a spot all night? Learning how to pack and what homework is your priority can make packing your backpack for the day that much easier! If you have an hour between classes, pack your notebook or flashcards to study for that test coming up instead of socializing, always squeeze in time to study when you can so your life outside of school doesn’t suffer too much.
3. Avoid Distractions
Distractions are single-handedly one of the most drastic setbacks that your school and studies can experience! (Trust me, I would know this one). I struggle a lot with distractions when I’m trying to study as I can never seem to put my phone down. I mean really, who wants to study when you can spend hours on YouTube and Instagram… BUT, I do have an app that helps me combat this so I spend less time diddle dallying on my homework and more time getting it done in a timely manner so I have time for other things! The app Forest is an app that allows you to pick an increment of time anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours. It will then lock your phone for this amount of time and won’t allow you back on it unless you cancel it yourself. It’s environmentally friendly in the way that the longer you lock your phone, the more coins you earn which can then be saved and donated to help plant a tree in real life! Not only does it help you study, but it helps the environment too!
4. Accept That You Can’t Socialize Every Day
I get it, some peoples FOMO (fear of missing out) is excessively high and they feel like they have to attend EVERY football game or EVERY night out (trust me, I would know again) but I promise that sometimes, its just not worth it! There will always be another party and football games are broadcast on television so spend your time studying when you need it and reward yourself with breaks when you’ve earned them.
5. Focus on the Present
It doesn’t help to stress over every single little thing you have to accomplish upcoming. Yes, it’s important to plan and be knowledgable, but stressing to the point where you can’t accomplish what is at hand can actually negatively affect your schoolwork. If you are so freaked out about the test you have on Friday when it’s still only Monday, this can affect how you study for that test earlier in the week and cause you to do poorly! Accept the fact that college is stressful and plan for yourself in advance as much as possible so you can focus on the present and what is right in front of you.
6. Join Clubs or Organizations
Doing this is a great way to combine both your social and school life! By finding a club or organization that benefits you in both ways, not only are you bettering your academic career, but you are also meeting new people and making friends that have the same interests as you! This is why I love going to a large school, there is something for everyone, and I mean EVERYONE! Check out what’s all available for you on your campus, you never know what you could find!
I hope that these tips help you to manage your time wisely and make for the most effective and well-balanced school year!