How To Effectively Manage Your Time in College

By Nicole Gennarelli

Fall semester has started and whether you’re a first year freshman or a first semester senior, one thing every student needs to master is time management. It can be tricky between extracurricular activities, working a part-time job and having a social life, but once you get into the routine of it, I can promise it becomes a lot easier. These tips below will help you become a time managing pro in no time!

1.)    Use a planner and/or agenda– A new thing that incoming freshman aren’t used to are syllabi. It can be overwhelming at first to see every due date for the entire semester in front of you, but writing them down on calendar gives a better idea of when everything is due and when you can start an assignment.  Doing this for every class can help give you a big picture of what your semester will look like and how you can schedule time for work, clubs, sports and friends.

2.)    Plan ahead- The transition into college means that you are gaining a lot more responsibility in your life. Professors expect you to keep up with their assigned readings and have assignments in on time. The most important thing to do with any college homework: plan ahead. Don’t wait to finish a 10 page paper the night before it’s due or assume you can print it when you get to class. Always save your work to a flash drive or create a Dropbox account in case your computer crashes or gets a virus. Also, setting aside blocks of time every week to get your work done can help you cross things off your to-do list. Planning ahead may seem like more work, but it’ll save you stress and anxiety in the end.

3.)    Don’t overload your schedule – Maybe you’re used to taking on a lot of tasks and positions in high school and still pulling straight A’s. However, in college you’re on a different schedule with an increased work load. Don’t pile too much on your plate until you know you’re ready for it. See how your schedule goes for several weeks before taking on other responsibilities. And always remember it’s ok to say “no” if you have school responsibilities that come first.

4.)     Your health is important – This is the first time for many of you where you will be living away from home in a dorm room or apartment. With this rite of passage comes staying up late, eating whatever you want whenever you want, going out until early in the morning, and pulling all nighters to finish homework. These may seem like fun things in the beginning, but they can have a serious effect on your health. Don’t let these patterns become a habit. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, eat healthy, and take advantage of free access to the campus recreation center. Taking care of yourself will ensure that you can get good grades and feel prepared to tackle the semester.

5.)    Schedule some “me time” – Between working, studying, and writing papers, you can start to feel like your life is on auto pilot. Every day is the same routine. To make sure you don’t exhaust yourself, schedule some time for yourself. Whether it be to go shopping, hang out with friends, watch a movie, read a book for fun, whatever it takes your mind off school and gives you time to breath. Focusing on school is important, but focusing on school too much can burn you out half-way through the semester.


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