Getting an education is not always as easy as it sounds. There is a great need to create balance between academic life, social experiences and the basics of living within your means. The good news is that there are tools in place to help you be very successful. Reach out and use them from the very beginning.
Meet with your adviser before you set up your class schedule. Together, review the syllabus for each class you are going to take the first year. It is essential that you look at your workload and get a good mix for each semester. If you are great in math and chemistry, don’t do them all at the same time. Add some challenging classes so there is balance.
Use study groups. This can be a great time saver. You can exchange information, quiz each other and enjoy another perspective. 50 students can actively listen and take excellent notes on the same lecture. However, each student comes with a history so what they perceive will be different. Study groups and note exchanges help to fill in the gaps and make for a better overall understanding. Keep the study group academic. If that changes, move to a different group.
Keep a healthy schedule. No matter how much you tweak your activities there are only 24 hours in a day. It is important to set up a routine that works with your body clock and study needs. There are some non-negotiable items. For example, in order to be healthy you must get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, you must eat right and you must get some exercise. Those should be on the non-negotiable list.
You must attend class and get homework and labs done. Those are non-negotiable. If you set a schedule that works with your personal needs, you will be successful and have less stress. You will have a routine that allows things to be completed in a timely manner.
Often-times, financial responsibility slips away during the higher education process. With student loans, credit cards and the help of parents, some unrealistic thoughts may form. Make sure that financial responsibility is a part of your time schedule.
You really don’t have a time management system unless it is posted and public. Your friends and family need to know when it is acceptable to call or text. There needs to be a standard set for uninterrupted time. If you begin this way, others will understand and respect your boundaries. Remember that you need to be respectful of others’ boundaries as well.
A big part of higher education are the social experiences. Binge drinking is not considered a legitimate social experience. There are many safe and worthwhile social activities and networking opportunities. Higher education is supposed to be enjoyable. Make sure you have activities you enjoy on your schedule.
Here is a quick recap.
- Create a balanced class schedule
- Post your non-negotiable schedule
- Be sure to include healthy habits
- Schedule time for fun
Be financially responsible with your money and time. Time is money.