Transitioning to college or university is a big change as it usually results in classes with a heavier workload. Additionally, many students work while taking classes, making it more important for college students to manage their stress and take care of their mental health. Balancing all of these priorities can be overwhelming at first. Still, the transition can be made easier by creating and maintaining good time and workload management skills. We’ve compiled some helpful time management tips for college students to help you stay organized, so you don’t fall behind.
Create a schedule
While you won’t be able to do much to change the hours you work or the time of your classes, you can use a schedule to make the most of your free hours. Set aside time during the weekdays specifically for homework, studying, exercising, and even spending time with friends and family. Creating a routine and seeing it in a calendar will help you manage your time and make you feel less stressed and frantic. Planning ahead is a great way to hold yourself accountable and ensure you don’t miss important deadlines.
The busier you find yourself, the easier it can be to push things aside. You then may find yourself rushing at the very last minute to finish an important paper or study for an exam. Instead of pushing these off, try to do a little at a time on a regular schedule. You’ll get more done and feel less stressed. Do you have to wait 15 minutes for the bus to come? Get your book out and re-read a chapter you know will be tested on soon! Using the time in between going places can be a great way to get a quick study break in.
Find your space
This time of your life is often filled with distractions, especially if you live on campus. Friends, parties, tv, video games, and other campus activities can easily pull you away from your studies. As soon as you’re able, scope out a nice, quiet, comfortable place you can go to for your homework or studies. Libraries and quiet coffee shops are great places for this!
Talk to your professors
Most teachers are pretty understanding and know how stressful it can be to be a student. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need extra time on a project or essay. Just make sure to ask well ahead of the deadline to show your teacher that you’re on top of it and not procrastinating.
Also, ask your professors for additional resources or if they know of someone who could tutor or study groups.
Make time for self-care and hobbies
No matter how busy you are with taking classes and work, it’s still important to put yourself first with some self-care. This can look like taking care of your personal space, making a nice meal, doing one of your favorite hobbies, or just relaxing. Taking time to do something you enjoy will relieve stress and give you a break. Without a hobby or downtime, you may burn out before the semester or year ends. Try to schedule at least 30 minutes a day for something fun or relaxing. You’ll thank yourself later!
If you’re struggling to balance school, work, hobbies, friends, and self-care – speak up! Reach out to your advisor or use your institution’s health center to talk about it and find some solutions that will work best for you. It’s not uncommon for college students to feel stressed; it usually just takes some time adjusting and talking it through to help balance things out. When you seek support and learn time management skills, it will become easier to take care of your mental health and avoid burning out from stress.
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