Students have been anticipating leaving home and heading to college for months now, but whether they want to believe it or not, living on their own comes with a lot of responsibility and there is a lot to learn. They are now responsible for their own schedule and staying on track and on time; parents won’t be knocking on the dorm room door to wake them up for 8 a.m. classes. Investing in a planner or some form of time management system to juggle everything being thrown at them is strongly encouraged for any student, particularly those attending college.
While the purpose of going to college may be to further one’s education and earn a degree for the working world, let’s face it, the social aspects tend to be more enticing. Nothing wrong with wanting to have fun, meet new friends and create lasting memories, but making sure to stay on top of responsibilities is the best way to have success in college, so don’t discard anything.
Things students should keep track of:
1. Are they paying college tuition on their own or helping pay it? If so, a job is probably a necessity. Although they may want to start looking for a job right away to start paying off the bills, it’s highly recommended to not look for a job until second semester so students can adjust to classes, the workload and the entire college life transition. Once their job hunt begins, they’ll need to keep track of interviews and, hopefully, work hours.
2. Ever heard of the Freshman 15? Well, it’s real. Planning activities such as going to the gym or joining intramural activities or just going out to throw around a football with friends is a great way to keep the pounds at bay.
3. Another way to stave off the dreaded 15 is by keeping a healthy diet. Living alone means there is no one to say not to have a doughnut every morning and order pizza late at night. While this is something students will have be aware of and possibly learn for themselves, the simple act of tracking food intake and planning when to eat may help students keep their heath top of mind.
4. Go to class. Students often take advantage of the lenient attendance policies that some professors have by skipping classes when they feel like it. Well, those teachers are the ones who will test on in-class material, rather than just homework material, to see which students come to class. Remember the reason for enrolling in a university is for the purpose of attaining a higher education, not to sleep through classes.
5. Do the homework. Keeping up with homework will better prepare students to be able to ask questions if they aren’t understanding a topic before the test rolls around.
6. Still stuck on an assignment? Use the professors as resources, it’s what they’re there for. Set up a time to meet with the professor or go in during their office hours. Professors generally love to see students putting in effort to get the most out of their education.
7. Yes, you can say no to a night out. No, you will not lose all your friends. You’re all in college together and if your workload is too much your friends will understand, they’ve been there too.
8. But - just because you can’t spend time with your friends every night due to your work and school commitments doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make time for them. Be sure to set aside some time for a social life in your schedule to make lasting friendships and enjoy new college experiences.
Time management may not come naturally. Making a schedule to help students balance their academics, health, social life and work life will make adjusting to college life much smoother. In free hours, get some rest or do something to relax because the next day will get busy all over again. No doubt, college will be a memorable rollercoaster, but the key to getting the most out of the ride is finding the balance between practicing for future successes and knowing when to take a step back to have some fun.