Managing College Life
The time has finally come. You’ve kissed mom and hugged dad goodbye, and you’re finally free! It seemed like this day would never arrive, but you’ve officially made it to college! Freedom! You are on your own for the first time with no curfews, chores, or house rules to follow. This is the feeling most incoming freshmen have during the first few days of college life. However, after a few weeks of classes, reality hits…. “Wait, what reality?” you might be wondering. The reality is you are in college to earn an education and better prepare yourself for the future, not just to party.
College years can be some of the greatest and most exciting years of your life; yet with all the fun and freedom also come some serious obligations, work, and stress. It is important to hold yourself accountable for keeping a balanced schedule. Too much of anything becomes a bad thing, studying, partying, you name it, it’s true. Knowing how to balance school, your social life, and other activities will help you manage it all far more than you may realize.
It is a big jump from the high school Monday-Friday, 8am-3pm schedule (or whatever your high school schedule was like), to maybe a few morning classes, an afternoon class here or there and perhaps out early on Fridays. Remember, going to class should always be a top priority, and you shouldn’t join anything that would disrupt class time. That being said, don’t just go to class and do homework. It’s important to get involved in organizations or maybe get a part-time job to help keep your life well-rounded and interesting. I often find the busier I am, the more I get accomplished because I realize I only have a certain amount of time to execute all I have to get done. I am therefore less likely to procrastinate.
Learning time management in you first semester of college is a small but vital concept that can save you from much unneeded stress and anxiety down the road. A basic trick to balancing your new schedule is as simple as having a planner. Write everything down! Writing all homework assignments, meetings, due dates, and other everyday things will help greatly with managing school, work, friends, and anything else you choose to add to your life.
Another idea is making the effort to go to the library, or some other quiet place, in between classes to work on homework instead of going back to your dorm room and wasting that time. Using time in between classes for studying and homework is time efficient and can help you accomplish more overall. Think of it this way, if you spend that random hour-and-a-half between two classes to work on a paper or look over class notes for a test, then you will have that much more time to do what you want at night. So just remember, college can be an amazing chapter of your life, but it is important to live a balanced lifestyle and take advantage of all you can while learning how to manage your new responsibilities.