College Time Management

Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite movies. I never thought that an entertaining animated film from my childhood would spill over into my college life.

Upon entering freshmen year and encountering the hectic schedules, I began to feel like I was the white rabbit from the film, always checking my clock and running around campus, stressed about how late I was for one appointment or another.  My college time management skills were, admittedly, pretty bad my freshmen year.

It can be difficult to keep track of everything that you have to do in college. Time commitments can mount up and become one big confusing mess of stress. Getting school work done, meeting with organizations and advisors and making it to class and work on time are just a few of the many things that compose the busy schedule of a college student.

Keeping track of all the things you need to do in college is tricky but necessary. Having poor college time management skills not only shows a lack of professionalism, but can also negatively impact academics.

Here are a few college time management tips that can help you keep to your schedule and avoid being the “white rabbit” on campus:

Use a calendar

Whether it is a paper calendar that you hang on your wall or the calendar on your cell phone, use it!

Calendars are a great way to keep track of everything you need to do for the week or even the month. Write down meetings you’ll have as soon as you find out about them. Look over the due dates of future assignments and write them down on the calendar, setting aside a time for you to actually start and complete the assignments.

That way, when you look at the calendar you’ll see what you need to do and when. Make sure that the calendar is somewhere in plain sight so you will have no other choice but to look at it. Cell phone calendars are great because in this day and age, we look at our cell phones very frequently throughout the day.

Buy and use an alarm

Set it every night for an appropriate time so that you can wake up in the morning for class without having to rush and get ready in a hurry. If you set the alarm at a time that gives you a few extra minutes, you can start your day at a steady pace and not feel like you are completing your day in a hurry. You can also sit down and eat a healthy breakfast which will give you fuel for your day.

Write down what you need to do

This goes along with the calendar suggestion, but it is so important that it must be emphasized. Writing down what you need to do as soon as you find out you need to do it is essential in college time management skills.

It is hard to remember all that you need to do given the heavy load that college often throws at you. Writing things down makes it easier because it will serve as a reminder. You may have forgotten about that important meeting in your mind, but the minute you see it on your calendar or on your to-do list, you will remember and make it there right on time.

Try not to have too many to-do lists at once, however. Too many calendars or to-do lists makes it hard to know which one to look at. When you complete one daily to-do list, throw it away once you have created your to-do list for the next day. Keep one yearly calendar.

Create a daily schedule

This is a great college time management tip as well. Make it as specific as you need it to be. On top of all the things you know you will have to do for the day, make sure to factor in meals and your own personal relax time. Everyone needs to take a break and relax for the sake of their own health, no matter how busy they may be. It may be easier to write your daily schedule out the night before but writing it the morning of works as well. It would be a good idea to keep the daily schedule with you so that you can look at it for reminders.

Stay organized in your classes

Keep each of your classes separated from each other. Getting the assignments for one class mixed up with the work for another can be frustrating, time consuming and an all around avoidable hassle. Keep your class work in separate folders or notebooks (I personally like to use the big five subject notebooks with the pockets. It keeps all my work in one location but separated into different sections).

You can even color coordinate your classes in order to keep them separated. A friend of mine with great college time management skills uses green pen for one class, blue pen for another, and so on and so forth. Whatever you chose, just make sure to keep your work separated but in a location that you can remember.

Plan ahead

Look over your class schedule to see what assignments are due and when the assignments are due. This gives you time to plan ahead and start early, especially if the assignments are very lengthy and call for extensive research.

Planning ahead is a good college time management tip because allows you to get work done early and take some of the stress off of your shoulders in class. Be careful not to rush through work just to get it done early. Take your time and do what you can, when you can and to the best of your abilities.

College time management is easier said than done, especially in the transition from high school to college. It takes planning and attention but it is definitely possible. Using the above tips can help you remain calm and lessen the stress that can accompany the busy schedules of college life.

It may seem like a lot at first, but you are more than capable of handling it. Just keep your eye on the prize. Nothing is out of your reach.

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Ashlyn Porter

Ashlyn Porter

Ashlyn Porter is a senior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in communication with a concentration in theater as well as a minor in sociology. A self-declared cinephile, Ashlyn enjoys watching and studying film in hopes of one day being involved in various aspects of the film industry. Her passions also include in writing, reading, baking and performing Shakespeare for her dog.
Ashlyn Porter

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