Posts Tagged ‘college scheduling’
What’s so hard about college?
You might think it’s the coursework. After all, college level academics are more difficult than high school academics, and often times, the methods used to teach a college level course are unfamiliar to a freshman. You might think the hard part of college is making friends, as you’ve likely left most of yours, along with your family, behind.
While the academic and social aspects of college can be challenging, the students who haven’t figured out how to balance everything are those that have the toughest time. The demands of college students are high, and they’re coming from every direction: you have two professors expecting papers by the end of the week, your club meets every Wednesday, your RA is holding a mandatory event tonight, you have a group presentation tomorrow, Mom wants you to call her, and your best friend just broke up with her high school sweetheart and she needs you right now. Feeling stressed yet? Most college kids do.
So what are you going to do about it?
Well, you could simply throw your pens in the air and say, “Forget this! College is too hard!” and walk out. There are plenty of students who do. Or, you could learn how to balance all of these activities in a way that brings you success and happiness!
Your first lesson is a basic one: get yourself a planner (and use it)! Write down when your assignments are due and when you plan to do them. Schedule in your weekly meetings, even if it seems obvious that you’re busy at 7 p.m. every Monday. Note test days, birthdays, off-campus parties, visits home, group project meetings, campus events, when construction is going to be blocking your typical entrance to your campus, when you’ll need a new toothbrush, and everything else you need to remember. Color code it if you have to! Pour your life into this thing because your mind will not be able to handle it all.
Your second lesson, one that many people have a difficult time with, is being able to recognize when things are about to get crazy, and doing something about it. When you’re documenting everything in a planner, it will only take you a moment to realize there’s a dark and twisty Tuesday coming up where you have a twelve page paper due, two meetings scheduled for the same time, and coffee with your ex where you’ll discuss whether or not you’re getting back together. Yikes. Understand that this is a storm warning, and you’ll need to make preparations for it.
Your final lesson in performing a successful balancing act is being able to prevent spillage from one demand into another. Focus on the task at hand. If it’s homework time, don’t get on the phone for an hour. If your friend is visiting from another college, don’t spend that time polishing the final words of a paper. Think of your demands like paint: while a few mix nicely, too many mixed together makes an ugly greenish brown.
Managing your time as a college student isn’t easy! Besides going to class, there’s little else you have to do at a precise time. It’s up to you where you squeeze in meals, sleep, studying, partying, exercise, club activities, and trips home. Fitting everything in perfectly is like working on a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle, but it can be done. Check out these seven tips that can help you turn your crazy schedule into something you can control.
This will be the most important thing you learn when it comes to your schedule as a college student. You will find yourself constantly asking, which of these activities is more important? Which of these papers should I start today? How should I spend my evening? If you can learn to accurately evaluate your needs, you will have overcome the greatest challenge of managing your schedule!
Get Down to Business
One of the best things you can do for your time management is to jump right into whatever it is you planned to do. If homework time is after your last class, get right on it. If you like to eat at 6 p.m., don’t spend that hour deciding what it is you want. If you can eliminate wasted time, it will surprise you how much time you actually have!
Eliminate Your Distractions
While it’s probably more enjoyable to text your friends and to watch TV while you work on reading a chapter in sociology, it’s going to take up far more time than it should. You’ll find that when you focus only on your work, you’ll finish faster, understand more, and you’ll have more time and focus to dedicate to fun!
Eliminate What Bores You
If you find yourself in your second year of college going to club meetings for a group your heart is no longer in, do your schedule a favor by letting it go. Your time is too valuable to waste it on things you’re not into anymore.
While organizing your notes, your room, and your car will take a lot of effort at first, the return is a real time savor! This will help you to keep your time “looking for stuff” to a minimum!
Assign Time for Fun
It’s important to do well in school, but it’s also important that you have enough time with your friends. You need a personal life outside of academia! Designate a specific time each week to do something great! “Bad Movie Mondays” or “Pancake Sunday” will give you something to look forward to all of the time!
Assign Time for Sleep
Your sleep is important. Too little of it has its effects, from putting you in a sour mood, to allowing you to make careless mistakes on assignments that could potentially harm your grades. This semester, help your schedule by recognizing your bedtime. When you’re feeling your best, you’ll have more power to get stuff done!
As a new college student, you are likely just getting to know what it’s like to have classes that don’t begin until ten in the morning, or a class that doesn’t begin until seven at night, or a weekday where you have no classes at all! Coming from a rigid and consistent high school schedule, living the life of a college student can seem a little overwhelming. Except for your sporadically-placed classes, your time is very much your own. It’s your job to fit in homework, studying, club meetings, group meetings, meals, friends, showers, and sleep. In addition, you have to work much of that daunting schedule out with a roommate juggling responsibilities of his/her own.
Check out these tips on how you can bounce from high school academia to a successful college student.
Detail a Consistent Schedule
Your schedule is going to change every semester for the next four years. You might go from having no classes on Fridays, to most of your classes on Fridays, or from three hours between classes to having barely enough time to squeeze in lunch. The quickest way for you to adjust to your changing schedule will be to seek out consistency. Once your classes have been registered, look at the time you have left. Pick a time to do homework everyday. What time will you get your meals? What time will you wake up and go to bed? When will you go to the gym or hang out with your friends? If you designate what your time is meant for, and you stick to that schedule, you will adjust in no time!
Set Daily Goals
As much of your time is yours to do as you please, it will be very easy to choose not to do your homework during your morning homework time slot with the intention to do it “later.” It will be tempting to hang out with your friends on a night you had originally planned to write a paper. While this flexibility is nice in many situations, you don’t want to make a habit out of it. Make to-do lists on particularly busy mornings to organize what you plan to get done during what times, and more than likely, you will find yourself staying ahead of the game.
Manage Your Time
If you have a detailed schedule and goals set for yourself everyday, you will still need effective time management in order to cross things off the list! Start major papers and projects well in advance so you don’t find the time you spend working on them leaking into other areas of your schedule. Prevent distractions from social media sites and your smart phone by allowing yourself to only check for updates and messages after you have reached certain points in your project. Leave the TV off while you work. Scheduling breaks during long blocks of studying or paper-writing is a good thing, but set a timer so you don’t Facebook your night away. These will all help you remain focused so you can accomplish what you have set out to do.
Even if you’ve known you wanted to graduate college with a degree in bio-physics since you were 7 years old, depending on which college or university you wind up at, there’s a good chance you’ll have to take some classes outside of your major. There are core classes you’ll be require to get credits for, and even just extra credits you’ll have to fill.
So, how do you choose classes that are out of your normal comfort zone? You’re in luck because we have to have 7 ways to choose college courses outside of your major:
1. Peruse through the entire course guide
If you’re at a larger university, this can be a daunting task, but you never know what you’ll find! There are so many intriguing, even fun, college courses being offered these days (like all of these pop culture courses). Make sure you look through all the classes so you don’t pass over something that might be right up your alley.
2. Choose by professor
Did you have a professor who just taught the most interesting lectures on what could be the most tedious subject ever? If you found a professor who can keep your eyes open and neurons-a-firing, don’t let him/her slip through your fingers. It’s kind of like what your grandma would say about your girlfriend, “She’s a keeper.” Find another class they teach and sign on up.
3. Ask your friends
Ask your friends if they’ve taken any classes that they recommend you take. Your friends are a great source of information because they know you better than any counselor or adviser. If they think you’ll enjoy Mummies 101, you should probably trust their judgment. That is, if you trust their judgment in judging what you’d like.
4. Do some research
Course selection is almost an entire course within itself. And just like any other class, you should probably do some research. If faculty reviews are public at your school, take a look-see. Insight into what others think about a class can help inform your decisions. You can also always hit up RateMyProfessors.com.
5. Take a class outside of your comfort zone
One of the best ways to expand your mind and widen your view of the world, is to take classes about things that might make you uncomfortable at first. Take a class in a religion that you don’t practice or a history class about a country you’ve never heard of before. While your major provides the opportunity to focus in on one field, your entire college experience is about widening your horizons.
6. Channel your inner artist
A lot of us have inner artists that come out to breathe less and less frequently as we get older. So, college is a great time to give your inner artist some oxygen. Take a painting class, bongo class, creative writing class–whatever it is–just sign up; give your inner artist some room to walk around and express itself!
7. Does it fit in your schedule?
The college student’s MO is creating a school schedule that fits perfectly with their nap schedule. Or work schedule. Or whatever. The cool part about college is that you have the liberty, most of the time, to design what time you wake up and what days you wake up. You could schedule a semester with no classes on Fridays, or no classes before noon. That’s why college is magical.
How have you chosen your classes? Leave a comment below!
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