Time Management to Keep Your Sanity in College

Last updated on November 27, 2017

College life is busy. There are papers, quizzes, required meetings, group projects, papers, jobs, midterms, finals, and more papers. And who has time for all the parties?

It can be very easy to get lost in college life and start to feel worn thin. Can college life be more than trying to get caught up?

Absolutely! Here are some ideas of how you could use your free hours:

  • Sipping a latte at the local coffee shop
  • Taking a nap
  • Reading another chunk of that book or magazine you wanted to read
  • Polishing your collection of antique yoyos (hey, it could happen!)
  • Catching a few rays on the soccer field bleachers
  • Shooting some hoops
  • Catching a few bits of gossip or news from your girlfriends
  • Writing the next chapter in your Great American Novel

The best way to not get lost in the deluge of work is to chart your course as early as possible.

Let’s assume you’ve just finished first semester freshman year. You’ve started to figure out how college life works. You know where the important buildings you’ve found the fastest route from every building to the cafeteria!and you are learning the structure of the collegiate social life. You probably know by now the best place to study, and who to study with to make the grades you want. But, like most college students, you’ve probably overlooked learning how to make time for yourself. Now is the perfect time to learn!

When you plan your schedule for the next semester, try to group your classes so that you have a free hour between classes here and there. If you’re working, try to schedule your work in the most obvious single block of time, don’t offer to work those single free hours!

The first week or two, you’ll be figuring out your rhythm.

Who do you eat lunch with on which days, when and where do you study for which classes, which extracurricular activities can you fit in, so on and so forth.

A word of caution: especially if you are working, please learn how to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t have the time.” Too many extra obligations can be a killer of grades, social life, and sanity!

Once you are starting to get settled in, you’ll need to make a pointed effort to use bits of free time for yourself every dayBut hey, this time, it’ll be easier, because you planned ahead!

Use those single free hours each day wisely. Sometimes they’ll be invaluable to you, for example, when you suddenly realize you have a paper due next hour. But the other times you might need to use them to get away for a bit.

The important thing is to set your priorities. Sanity should always be on the list, by the way. And if you spend an hour each day, or even every other day just doing something simple and re-energizing for you, you’ll be surprised how much less stressed you’ll be at the end of the day.


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