By Madison Pitsch
What are some of the best ways to prioritize your time as a college student?
This question was submitted by a Concordia student—and I’m sure a lot of us are feeling the same way they are. Overwhelmed, stressed out and busy. It happens; we’re busy people. There are some things you can do to prevent these stressed out feelings and better prioritize your time as a college student.
- Planner: You knew this would be on my list. I am a huge believer in planners because I like to see at least a skeleton of what my week is going to look like. Fill yours in with possible homework due dates from syllabus week, concerts that you want to go to, practicum deadlines, budget stuff, and ideas that you have for the future. Instead of having ideas floating around in your head, get them down on paper, and do something about it! I like to write down extracurriculars in my planner so 1) I remember them, and 2) I block out enough time for them in my day to get other things done as well.
- Homework: Wouldn’t school be so much more fun without homework? Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, but by being proactive with homework, we can allow ourselves more free time in the future. Try to stay at least two days ahead on your homework by getting it done the day it is assigned. Obviously, this won’t work well with long term projects and group work, but it is an easy way to knock out all the assignments that need to be done. Plus, if you do the homework right after your classes, the material will still be fresh in your brain. Win-win.
- Work: If you’re a working student, big kudos to you! You made it a priority to fit that into your schedule, and that’s awesome. Please don’t crucify me for what I’m going to say next. While some jobs may feel like free time and you feel tempted to get something done, I’d urge you to resist that temptation. Treat work like a break from the grind of working on homework 25/8. Do your work and do it well. Treat the hours that you’re there as a rest from the library lighting you’re accustomed to. This will require being proactive about other things, but I promise you the mental break is worth it.
- Sleep: A large part of being a successful college student is learning how to set boundaries. I’m risking sounding like your mom right now, but sleep is of the utmost importance. You will not function at 100 percent if you have not had enough sleep. And in college, you need to be functioning at 100 percent if you want to do well in school, stay healthy, have a social life, etc. And I know that sounds scary and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. I know this might sound childish, but set a bedtime for yourself. If that means setting alarms and leaving your rowdy friends at the sand volleyball courts to get a good night’s sleep, so be it. I told you I was going to sound like your mom.
- Money: Money is a double-edged sword. It’s nice to have it, but it hurts to spend it. When you seem to need it, you never have it. So it goes. Try to map out your weekly expenses, factoring in bigger things too: loan payments, dates, filling up your car with gas, rent, etc. If you can guess when the bigger payments are going to hit in relation to pay day, you can make a financial plan for yourself to not feel so stressed. Ah, the bliss.
What it boils down to, my friends, is that you have 168 hours in a week. It doesn’t sound like it, but that’s a lot. If you prioritize your time and efforts, you will be able to get more of that time back. Happy prioritizing!