Balancing Life and College: Time Management

Attending college and dealing with the realities of real life can be challenging. When you are in high school, the only thing that you worry about is your relationship with your friends and what parties are going on that weekend. It is a harsh reality when you step out into the adult world and have to grow up. When you are trying to work, go to school, pay the bills, keep your sanity, and still have time to socialize with friends, you can wear yourself ragged.

The most important tool that you can learn in the adult world is time management.

You have to create a schedule (to which you actually stick to, it doesn’t work otherwise) that meets your needs. You also have to learn how to say no. if you have a test the next day (or have to get up early for work) you can’t drop everything and go out to that party where that cute boy (or girl) from class that you have been dying to meet will be.

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To create a schedule, the first thing that you need to have is some type of calendar that you have at all times (this includes a day planner). Then, on a separate sheet of paper, write down everything that you have to do, and then write down the things that you want to do.

Begin with the need to do. Write down your class schedule, what days and times that you have to attend. Then write down your work schedule (if applicable). Make sure that you block time off (make sure it is every day so you don’t become overwhelmed when your assignments are due) for your homework (usually at least 2 hours, depending on your class load). Stick to your homework schedule. You will become overloaded if you leave everything to the last minute. Write down any other appointments that you have to keep (tutor sessions, doctors appointments, etc.).

The next things you want to write down are your wants. This includes time shopping, going to the movies with friends, weekly outings, or just some alone time. Put down a time frame for what you want to do. This will give you a better idea as to how it will fit in with your list of things that you have to do. Schedule the things that you would like to do into along with the things that you need to do.

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Once you have completed a successful time schedule, mark down in pen on your calendar your list of things that you have to do (you can’t erase pen, this makes it more permanent). Then in pencil, sketch in the time frames that you have already established for the items that you would like to do. It is easier to prioritize things when you can see them. If you stick to a good time management schedule, then you should be able to manage your schooling, and life, more easily.