College is a time for fun, a time for learning, a time for maturing, an a time for many other important things. With so many priorities to juggle, such as a homework, class, a social life, athletics, and family, it is easy to get off track to developing into a responsible adult. As I went through college, I developed my own methods of time management.
One of the most true statements I have heard about college life is “There is a life-triangle, with a booming social life at one point, a successful athletic life at one point, and good grades at the third point. You can only manage two of the three, so choose wisely.” This brings me to my first point, which is the fact that you can’t do it all. You are not superman, and you will not reach your full potential if you try to be everything. It may be extremely difficult to choose what to do with your time, but you must remember that there are only 24 hours in a day. Once you include time for sleep and meals, which is basic survival, you have much less. What you do with this time is completely up to you. My next point goes hand in hand with this concept. Once you choose, basically, who you are going to be, you need to prioritize what you do. I would hope grades and schoolwork come before parties, but this isn’t always the case for everyone. It doesn’t matter how signifigant something you have to do is, you have to prioritize everything to succesfully manage your time. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as compiling a detailed to-do list, which isn’t a bad idea; but you need to at least think through each thing you have to do each day to keep things in priority. Another note on prioritizing, it is vital to consider the longterm importance of certain activities, such as studying. There is a reason you are in college in the first place, and if your grades suffer, you won’t be back.
It is extremely difficult to maintain a social life. You will quickly learn that it is impossible to please everyone. It is great to have a small group of friends, and branch out to others every so often, but you can’t be best friends with everyone. Learn to say “no”. This isn’t meaning to be rude, but you cannot do everything with everyone, you simply won’t have the time.
I was not an athlete in college, but I did have some lose friends who were. They have a commitment to keep, so they find it easy to balance grades and athletics, while a social life naturally follows. It is just important to keep things in perspective.
Keeping good grades not only influences your immediate future, but it will impact your long term career. My first bit of advice is to force yourself to study. When you study, get away from distractions. I had to leave my dormroom and go to the library, so I would stay on task. I have also found that your mood heavily affects your ability to effectively study. Make sure you are in a relaxed, good mood. If you are stressed, study time is wasted. Do something to relax yourself to study, I listened to music. Another way to improve study effectiveness is a reward system. Set goals and reward yourself for maintaining good grades.
In conclusion, time management is not difficult if you keep things in perspective. You can’t do everything, so choose what you want to do with your time, and have the maturity to manage these things. In the end, just have fun. You will improve both as a student, and as an adult if you can effectively manage your time.