Being a college student is not an excuse to go party and get drunk. In the past, going to college was an option, and it is often seen as a privilege of the rich and the powerful. However, in today’s demanding and technologically-advanced times, college is a necessity, even a requirement.
Today’s colleges, moreover, are no longer as easy to deal with as they were in the past: research and applications of technology are gaining greater and greater prominence in today’s colleges, and students are expected to know more and be more. In four or five years, students are expected to learn and make themselves ready for a career path – but how can they do this effectively?
The problem of time management becomes especially critical when students take part-time jobs or have fewer credit hours in their semesters in order to find ways to earn more money. Tuition and fees are particularly high, and in order to offset these, along with living costs, students have more on their hands than their homework.
If students have no scholarship or fellowship as they go through college, they may end up incurring loans or simply not going to college at all. How can college students manage their time while still taking care of their finances?
There are many ways for college students to manage their time, say by keeping study schedules, and by sticking to homework at a certain time of the night. However, there are still many efficient time management tools and methods that college students should know about. Here are the top three less popular ones that can still work for college students as they go about studying, building a career, and making ends meet.
1. Group study does not mean starting from the very beginning and studying together with your friends
– it means starting from the very beginning on your own, and then meeting with friends to discuss what you have learned and ask questions about things that you do not understand. Many college students are stuck in a group study mindset of studying at the very last minute, and then completely relying on their friends to help them pass their exams. The problem with this technique is that many students think the same way, and it simply ends up in having a group coming together – and then chatting about other things because they all have not studied yet.
Instead of wasting your time and keeping off studying until the very day that your study group meets, manage your time wisely by studying at the very beginning of class. Allot a certain time each night to read your notes and to take note of things that you do not understand.
If you are able to do this early on, you will not end up worrying about all the concepts that you do not comprehend. Moreover, because many syllabi are built on a student’s growing understanding of concepts, understanding things early on will allow you to build your knowledge, and will keep you from panicking at the end of the semester.
In short, study early and gradually, so that when group study comes, you end up sharing knowledge and asking questions, not starving for information and unsure of how well you will do in your finals. By using your time wisely at the start, you will not have to worry about cramming and pulling off all-nighters simply because you wasted all your time during the entire semester.
2. Learn how to skim through your readings and books.
Many students waste their time reading through each and every word of their textbooks or readings, and then end up frustrated when they cannot answer questions on their exams. This is because many students are trained to read words, and not use these words to come up with concepts. If you are trained to read words, all you will ever do is read through each word of your required work, take down a few notes, and then probably forget them when they are needed the most. You have therefore wasted your time reading, because you cannot use the information anyway.
Instead of idly going through your readings, have a few key questions in your head before you start reading.
- First: what is the main concept of this reading?
- Second: What is the author trying to tell me that no other author has done before?
- Third: what are the most important points in this reading, and why are they important?
- Fourth: how does this apply to me?
Although these questions will change depending on your subject matter, they will allow you to give purpose to your readings. If you have a purpose in your reading, then you will find it easier to digest the information and actually find a use for it – instead of complaining a few years down the line on how history or sociology were useless subjects for you.
3. Have a scheduled “You Time.”
Instead of just scheduling school, homework, and study time, schedule a time where you can relax and recharge. The problem with rigidly adopting a work schedule is that you can get burned out easily. Find a way to clear your head, say by hiking, chatting with friends, or simply catching up on sleep.
Got time management tips for College students? What can you advise to the ever-busy students of today in making time for themselves aside from attending keg parties? 🙂