As a college student, the biggest difference with a high student occurs when required to do personal time management in a disciplined manner. The basis is that there is no longer constant monitoring by the school administration. Had there been an emphasis on the time management in high school, as a college student now, I would have an easy time settling into an environment and lifestyle full of independence.
Of notable concern is the absence of a parental or guardian figure to push me around for getting late in the morning. Secondly, there are no issues of punishments for missing class or arriving late. As a matter of fact, most lecturers fail to establish which student is missing in given lecture (Gottesman & Baer, 2002). In addition, there are many social activities within and outside campus, and the freedom to have the whole night to yourself is at your discretion.
With these taken into consideration, the risk of losing grip of what led me to college is very high. The cost of this newly acquired independence can be damaging. Students get to college with set goals in mind, but a little loss of attention can be detrimental to one’s plans. As an adult, therefore, the critical turning point is when I decide to be the sole maker of my destiny. This comes about by critically, evaluating ways of managing and maintaining my day to day activities in campus.
This is known as effective time management of self (Schwartz, 2012). This gives me the chance to plan my life in campus and, therefore, a chance to be accountable to myself. Personally, I understand that parents or teachers are no longer concerned of what I do in college as long as I get excellent grades. However, time planning is always faced with a key barrier called procrastination. This refers to the habit of putting off a certain chore or duty one was required to do for a future time.
Procrastination is the main shortcoming for most, if not all time planners. This is mainly caused by:
Presence of many activities to be covered at a go.
Notion that we do not possess the skills required to do a certain task
Lack of clarity on what is needed
Lack of interest in the chore
Fear of failure
Setting of unrealistic goals
Time management as a whole, for me, is about planning well so as to avoid instances of procrastination. To help me do this, I have come up with various measures to which I follow religiously. These include:
Prioritizing: for me, class work is important and comes first before everything else (Dembo, 2004). I first finish all given assignments so that I can get time to do a co-curricular activity. In days where tasks are many, I give priority to the important papers and set to do the rest the following day.
Maintaining organization: during the day, there are many assignments for different courses. For every given assignment, I write it down in my planner for later. After the day is done, I do each assignment while deleting it from my list once it is completed.
Frequent breaks: medically, sitting down for long hours is not advisable at all (Pauk, 2001). While reading in the library, I take breaks from my desk to stretch and analyze whether I am gaining anything out of my revision. This helps me stay alert in case I have overstayed in the reading area contrary to a maximum required time of two hours. This also helps me avoid the danger of cramming as I am able to internalize the various units being taught easily.
Having enough sleep: as a college student, there are many social activities that fall within my schedule or plan but the danger of overstaying through the night is high. This leads to lack of sleep. In addition, one might read a certain unit past required sleeping hours and as a result, sleep less than the advisable time. Lack of enough sleep, leads to poor performance in exams as during the day, one is sleeping during class periods and, therefore, paying no attention.
Planning ahead: by knowing what to expect in my course work for the coming weeks, I set time well in my planner so as not to be caught unawares. This way, I can set the appropriate time for an expected assignment.
Scheduling time to relax: all work and no play are highly unadvisable. The costs of foregoing a social life in place of non-stop studies are detrimental. Lack of self esteem sets in, and this affects one’s education all together.
Practice flexibility: finally, after getting used to scheduling my time, I know that I can easily align myself with what is required of me at a given time. I can adjust my time without affecting all other planned activities, and this helps me practice responsibility and, therefore, in control of my future.
Dembo, M. H. (2004). Motivation and learning strategies for college success a self-management approach (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Gottesman, G., & Baer, D. (2002). College survival (6th ed.). Australia: Thomson/Arco.
Pauk, W. (2001). How to study in college (7th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co..
Schwartz, E. (2012). The Time Diet: time management for college survival. Charleston, S.C.: [s.n.].