Balancing the load
The college student can often feel overwhelmed as they have to balance academic studies, work schedules, and their normal desires for fun and leisure. Many students are able to maintain this balance, but others definitively struggle with their responsibilities. Sometimes this can cause people to remove some obligations from their schedule, due to an inability to manage everything.
Making good choices
The person who sees the big picture will sacrifice leisure. Other times people will drop out of school or cut their work schedule, which can sometimes lead to eventually dropping out of school due to lack of funding. If students are going to schedule properly, they often have to create a plan. Here are a few thoughts on how to prioritize time between work, school, and fun.
Putting together a schedule is the most effective way to manage priorities in school. Granted, scheduling is not necessarily complex but it is still a hard thing for some people to implement. The reality of humanity is that they do not want always want to be give up their freedom. The schedule sometimes makes people feel a like bit claustrophobic, so they resist the structure. If people are going to succeed in balancing their life, they must sometimes intentionally schedule things. Class time and work schedules are obvious, but students also have to build in time to study and work on projects. Sitting down each week and creating a schedule for the next week can be an extremely effective way to anticipate the near future.
In addition to weekly scheduling, students should plan ahead so that they do not get overwhelmed at the end of the term. When the student first gets their syllabus, they should put all due dates on the calendar. Then, they should backtrack and insert study sessions, times for research, and dedicated blocks of time that are designated for projects. When a social opportunity comes up, the student has to be disciplined and not remove the scholastic obligation, unless they can easily reschedule it very soon. By structuring their time throughout the term, the student will avoid the basic temptation of procrastination and effectively prioritize their school work.
In order to prioritize time and utilize schedules effectively, students must be aware of their limitations. This means being smart and realistic, especially about homework time. The students sometimes put themselves in a bad position by trying to mix “business with pleasure.” In other words, they try to read and work on projects while surfing the Internet, talking on the phone, or watching TV. If people are going to be effective, they should recognize that multitasking is often a detrimental methodology.
Finally, people need to prioritize by recognizing what is truly important in life and what they intend to accomplish. If people are in school, it is often because they have a future goal of some sort. This means that school is theoretically the priority. Granted, many people need to work in order to afford school, which can cause them to feel torn in different directions. The problem is that sometimes people feel like they can “do it all”, but the reality is that school is a major undertaking.
Sometimes it can be helpful for people to have reminders in various places in order to maintain focus on what they need to get done. This can be as simple as sticky notes on the mirror in the bathroom, or it can be more permanent like plagues on walls. Not everyone is inspired by quotes but sometimes they can effective for the person who needs a constant reminder about the commitment that they have made to their schooling.
If people are going to succeed scholastically, they may have to skip a few parties and work a few less hours. Studying and dedicating time to projects isn’t necessarily as fun, but school is an investment in one’s future and it should be given the proper amount of time and energy. This may cause some challenges in the short-term, but in the long run it may benefit them if they are serious about completing their education and moving on to the next phase of life.