September 18, 2015 - Posted to Education
How to stay organized and manage your time in school
High school was so easy. You had your assignments; teachers were helpful and flexible; people were around you to remind you of what was due when. You did not have many other responsibilities, and life was good. All of a sudden you are thrown into life as a college student, and the “shock” is pretty significant. Mom is no longer doing your laundry and cooking your meals; professors hand out syllabi at the beginning of the semester and say no more about those assignments that are due. You have to keep on top of everything all by yourself. If you don’t get yourself organized and learn how to manage your time, your life will be chaos – moving from one crisis to the next. So here are some tips that have helped vast numbers of other college students.
- Take control of your class schedule. You have to get smart about how you schedule your classes. A lot of students try to get all of their classes on Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tues-Thursday. If you are unable to do this completely, at least get only one class on the alternate days. Why? Because this gives you a large chunk of non-class time that you can use to complete assignments, take on that part-time job if you need to, get that laundry done, run errands, etc. What you want are large blocks of time that free you up to get all of the stuff done. Small chunks of time in between classes are too easy to waste.
- Get a calendar. Some students are able to have a calendar in an app that they can access as necessary. Other student need to have a visual reminder at all times. Find out what type of calendar works for you best. If you need to print out something and tape it to you wall, then do so. Every assignment due date must be placed on that calendar so that you can see the big picture and remind yourself of when stuff is due. It is the only way that you will be able to plan your time to get everything done on time. Professors are not too forgiving when due dates are missed.
- Schedule Your Social Time. You cannot spend your college years just completing coursework assignments, working part-time, and eating and sleeping. Nor can you spend those years partying all the time and neglecting your other responsibilities. You have to find the balance. Weekends should provide time for your social life, as well as other mundane tasks, such as laundry and shopping. If you can plan your calendar correctly, you will have time for these things too. You have to play – that is a part of the college experience.
- Learn to Use Small Chunks of Time. A professor has cancelled a class. You have a choice. You can either hit the student union and sit around with friends, or you can ask yourself, “What can I get done in the next two hours?” Maybe you can get a couple of loads of laundry done which frees up more time this weekend; maybe you can get 2 hours’ worth of research done for that paper that is due next week; maybe you can finish that outside reading assignment. When you take advantage of these little “gifts” of time, you give yourself free time down the road.
- Work Smarter by Setting Priorities. You have a few essay or paper assignments due. One is in your major field of study; the other two are for required courses in which you have minimal interest. If you set your priorities right, you know that you will want to spend more time on that paper for your major field course than for the others. And yet, you are really pressed for time and somehow have to get all of them in to keep your grades up. This is the time to find a custom, professional writing service from which you can buy essays online that will be original and ready to submit. Use that service for those assignments that are of lower priority.
There’s a lot to learn about time management and organization once you become a college student. But using these few tips will get you well on your way. Work hard, play hard, and stay organized – that’s the key to success.