Taylor is a proud summa cum laude graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut. She has a B.A. in Politics and Communications with a minor in Philosophy. She is currently in her first year of law school at William and Mary Law in Williamsburg, Virginia. In her spare time, Taylor loves reading, writing, and travelling as much as possible.
One of the most difficult aspects of adjusting to college is the transition from a high school schedule to a college one. In high school, you become accustomed to having a full day of classes, followed by a full afternoon of sports or activities and then homework…and hopefully enough hours left for a good night’s sleep! This pattern of constant movement from one thing to the next meant that most of your days were scheduled for you.
In college, you have a lot more independence with your time and what you choose to do with it. Maybe your classes may be spread out so that you have big gaps of time during the day where you have nothing scheduled. Some days you might not even have class at all. You’ve seen the long list of clubs and activities you can get involved with and at first everything seems new, exciting, and worth trying. Eventually, you’ll narrow down what you want to be apart of and learn the time commitment involved in these activities. Between classes, homework, clubs and a social life, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and struggle to make time for it all. While it may not seem like it, it is possible to get everything done. These are the five things I learned to help manage my schedule and do all that I wanted to do in college:
1. Write it down. Whether you go the old-fashioned route like me and get a planner, or you use the calendar feature on your phone or computer, make a note every time something new comes up. You’ll be getting a lot of emails about meetings, changes to classes, and things going on around the campus. No two weeks will look exactly similar, and it’s easy to forget things or miss events because you have a lot on your plate! I promise that when you tell yourself you’ll remember- you won’t…unless you have it written down.
2. Know what your week looks like. Spend ten minutes every Sunday getting yourself organized and looking ahead to what you have coming up that week. If you have a term paper due on Friday but a long practice Thursday night, you’ll know that you have to make some time earlier in the week to get it done. You’ll feel a lot less stressed if you have a good grasp of everything you need to tackle in the upcoming week and a general idea of where you have time to accomplish that week’s goals.
3. Make sure you leave time to relax. One of the great things about college is that you have flexibility in your schedule that you haven’t had before and won’t have again once you start working after graduation. Make sure you are leaving some time to take that mid-afternoon nap or binge-watch a few episodes of your show on Netflix. An hour or two here and there to unwind and de-stress keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and miserable.
4. Don’t wait until the last minute. Some people work best under pressure, but it’s never good to leave studying or a big assignment until the night before. While everyone will pull an all-nighter or two during college, try to keep them to a minimum. Set aside a few hours every day, whenever you work best, to stay on top of your work. Trust me, at the end of the semester you will be happy you did! If you’re leaving all your work until the last minute, it adds up into a big, ugly mountain of work to overcome during finals season.
5. Tune out from the social media. You’ll be amazed at how much faster you get your work done when you aren’t Tweeting/Facebooking/texting while you’re doing it! It’s instinctual for most of us to be glued to our phones, but you will have much more time to do the things you want to do if you are truly on task and focused while you’re studying or working. Put your phone on airplane mode so you don’t have any notifications distracting you. Reward yourself with a five-minute break to check it after an hour of uninterrupted work.
Committing to these five easy steps early on in college will help you develop good time management habits. College flies by, so you want to make sure you make the most of every minute!