Blog Post #453 Freshman Year / Time Management -3

Coaching for Life Success – Freshman Year – part 3 – Time Management

Okay, time to throw out aspects of the first freshman blog – where I say “Don’t get involved, say “NO” to activities”.  Part of college is learning balance and learning time management.

I stressed the importance of keeping distractions to a minimum – focus on your goal – getting a degree.  

BUT – for many of you, you already have an obligation – such as being on an athletic scholarship or joining campus organizations.  Some will have part-time jobs. Again the priority is to get to graduation, but keeping balance your life.

Many athletic groups will expect you to spend time in the weight room as well as on the practice field.  If you are in a fall sport (football, volleyball, cross-country), your season will start before your classes start. If you are in a winter or spring sport, you will be having informal practices and working out in the weight room.  It is like a job that you have to squeeze around your academic schedule.

If you have been a high school athlete, you know some of the balance between classes, grades, assignments – and your sport.  Likewise for many other activities. As I drive by the local high school on August mornings, the outstanding marching band is learning their new drill.  If you have been in dramatics, you have balanced your play rehearsals around your classes as well.

Time management is the key.  When you get an hour between classes, don’t throw it away, use it for study, for review.  Find a quiet corner and reread your textbook, or go over an assignment. Depending on how much time you have, you can go to the library and find a study carrel.  This is NOT a social time, but a time to ‘invest’ in yourself and your academics. Time is precious don’t waste it.

Go back to that first lesson on what to do in your freshman year and think about your schedule.  Block out your time. If you have a sport and weight training, put that on your schedule, put your classes in the schedule, put your study time in your schedule; put your exercise time in your schedule; put your meals and sleeping on your schedule.  AND STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE. When you have a full schedule (with activities or sports), your life can be complicated. If you are in a sport and traveling to an away game, take an ebook with you, record some of your professors’ lectures and listen to them on the bus,  

Your iPhone (or another smartphone) can be a blessing or a curse in time management.  If you have that hour between class, you can spend the hour texting friends, checking out your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook feeds, or you can be reading your textbook (or listening to it) on your phone.  If you have a quiet place for studying, you can listen to quiet music while you study.

Side note:  I have found over the years, that some of the most successful students and most successful adults are very busy and do know how to manage their time.  College is a good time to build good habits for the future.

College is preparing for life in many ways – the academics, the degree, the vocational choices, but also in learning time management.  Learning how to be selective and not overdoing activities and coordinating your time commitments is a good life lesson.

Things to do:

If you are in college, prioritize your activities.  If you are an athlete; if you are pledging a Greek organization; if you are in drama or music; you have to manage your time.  What is a higher priority for you?

Posted by Bruce White

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