By: Andrea Deignan
As college students we do not have it as easy as many people believe, sure we haven’t entered the work force full time yet, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t working. School itself is more like a full time job and it can take its’ toll, putting a strain on the body and on the mind.
The easiest solution would be to cut out work and focus on school. For most of us this is impossible, so the key to this balancing act is time management.
The first step in managing time is to plan the time you have. Get a planner or use your blackberry or iPhone to organize your assignments, instead of writing on a piece of paper ripped out of your notebook. Write down what you need to accomplish everyday and what you need to accomplish long-term. Surely there’s some kind of “app” you can find for that.
Looking at what you have to do and how long you have to accomplish it will help put your time in perspective. Writing your work schedule in your planner will also help manage the time you need to be at work and the time you have for homework.
If you have a paper due in a month make a timeline, set goals of what you want to accomplish each week. It is possible to write a good paper the day before, but only if you do some of the work in advance.
Use the supplies around you to help give you friendly reminders. Post-its, poster boards, or calendars are decent tools to surround your work area with “to-do” lists. Plus, the feeling of crossing off an assignment is one of the best feelings in the world.
Studying can be another difficult task, and that has a great deal to do with where this studying takes place. If you get distracted easily, plan for this, tell yourself I am going to focus for 30 minutes and then I can have a ten-minute break.
During your break you can give into distraction and look at your phone or facebook, but then get right back to studying. This break will allow your brain to get rest it will not become fatigued so quickly, and you will actually get more studying done.
Spare time can be rare when you are balancing work and school. When you do have that extra time it is tempting to spend it with friends or watching TV, you do not have to devote all your spare time to school. However there are some down times that are perfect for getting some schoolwork done.
If you get to school early sit in your car and take some time to look over that reading you had over the weekend, or do a last minute read of your notes before a quiz or test. If you get a lunch break at work that could be a good time to do some reading or studying. Doing work during these times can leave you with free time later on to enjoy.
Procrastination can be your worst enemy; so do not let it get to you. If you must procrastinate make sure it is a small assignment that can be done correctly and quickly.
Working and going to school does not have to be stressful, making good use of your time and understanding the way you study and the way you work can help you make the most of the time you have. On that note, good luck this semester guys!