Living away from home and with no authority figures dictating your schedule can be a very liberating experience. Indeed, it is an essential step towards becoming a truly independent adult. Usually your college experience is the time to start enjoying this new freedom.

However, the freedom to attend classes (or not), to get up in the morning (or not), or to party well into the wee hours of a Tuesday night (or not) comes with consequences, consequences which are solely your responsibility. This subtle detail is not immediately evident and may not make itself obvious until it is too late and you perhaps fail a class for the semester, or get a warning letter from the Dean’s Office.

Sooner or later we all learn the vital lesson that having a structured schedule is far better than not having one. Some people take the two months of Freshman year to figure this out, while others go right through college without learning, sometimes over the course of 5 or even 6 years. The sooner you figure out the schedule that works for your the sooner you will be getting the grades you want and need while working smartly doing the minimum about of work required to get things done right, instead of treading water half the time.

One classic example is how some students conclude that their studying technique is to sit on their bed with the t.v. or stereo on while they are doing their homework. More likely than not the same about of work will probably take them 2 or 3 times the time to complete due to the environmental distraction their brain is having to actively tune into and out of every few seconds. Another example is the age-old college cramming late night sessions after which we amaze ourselves at how efficient we managed to be when under pressure of a deadline.

So do yourself a huge favor and try to accelerate this process as fast and efficiently as possible so as to establish the sound habits which will make you work through college smartly and effectively, giving you more time to sleep, rest, and have fun.

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