Time is precious, so why waste it?

Flashback: So it’s my first week into college freshman year here at Northwestern, and I can already tell this is going to be rough. Sure, I knew college was going to be harder than high school, but I didn’t realize how much harder it would be. I have three tests in the next two weeks, a paper due in three days, I have soccer practices to attend and soccer games to play, and on top of it all, I want to be able to hang out with my friends. The only thing on my mind is, “How am I going to do it all?”

Let’s face it, college is a lot of work. Since you are now on your own, you have more responsibility and less accountability when it comes to making sure everything you need to get done, is done. You are now the captain of your ship and it is all on you to make sure you take care of your responsibilities. With this new transition comes this beautiful thing called time management, the most important and helpful thing during your time in college. So, here are a few tips to keep you on track and well managed during your college career.

1. Take it one day at a time. When you receive that first syllabus in your first college class, it can be a bit overwhelming. There seem to be hundreds of different assignments and all seem to be due at the same time. Yes, it is overwhelming, but if you take each day at a time and look at what you have immediately in front of you, instead of what is far off in the distance, you will find that it isn’t too much at all.

NWC planner.jpg

2. Get a planner. Planners are an absolute life saver. Throughout the day, you will find yourself thinking about a number of different things that you need to get done. Speaking from experience, you will want to write these things down so you don’t forget what you have to get done, and what you have going on throughout the week.

3. Be productive. If you have 30 minutes of free time before class or before practice, use it to get something done. It’s ok if you can’t finish a whole assignment or paper, but if you can get part of it done, it means less you have to worry about later on in the day. If you wait to do everything at one time, you will find yourself staying up into long hours of the night and find yourself very stressed out.

4. Study in the library (or another designated spot). I found out really quickly that the most efficient way to manage my time was by studying in the library. As much as you may think you can get homework done in your dorm room, I can promise you that it is almost impossible. There can be so many distractions in your dorm room that can cause you to waste time, and in college, time is incredibly precious

5. Cross things off. This might be the littlest and most unimportant thing when it comes to time management, but I can guarantee you that it is easily the most satisfying. Anytime you finish something off your list in your planner, cross it off. Don’t just cross it off, but really put your heart into making those words disappear. You may find that scribbling those words off will give you the motivation and happiness to conquer any task you have in front of you.

There will be moments in your college career where you may think you will not be able to get everything done, but if you take these five simple tips into account during the beginning of the semester, you will be setting yourself up for one stress-free and one successful semester!