If you ask a college student one thing that was hard to adjust to coming to college, many of them would say time management. Personally, I have struggled with this a lot, especially the first semester of college. Many people think that since you spend less time each day in class, that you will have more than enough time for everything that you want to do, including keeping up with your social life. This statement is true as long as you are responsible with your time.
In high school, I always finished my homework right when I got home and then had the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. However, I have found that the workload is a lot more in college because most classes are based heavily on self-learning. So, instead of the routine of only having a review worksheet for homework, in college, professors expect you to watch a lecture video, take notes, and maybe take an online quiz to go along with it. Even though this seems like an overwhelming amount of work, you have to remember that each class only meets two to three times a week, so students have more time to complete assignments before class. This being said, if you find a balance of schoolwork and social life, the workload will not be a major issue.
One of the biggest reasons why I had trouble with time management was the temptation to always hang out with my friends. Unlike high school, in college you are living around all of your friends and you don’t have a parent telling you to do your homework. College is the first time you are by yourself and are forced to be independent and make responsible decisions. As a result, it can be hard to find a good balance of social life and schoolwork, especially during the first year of college. In the midst of all of the stresses of being in a new place and experiencing something completely unfamiliar, here are some tips that I would give incoming college students about balancing social life and schoolwork:
1. Merge the two.
If you find yourself wanting to hang out with your friends but also need to get a lot of homework done, ask your friends if they want to go to the library with you. Going to the library with a friend makes the experience so much more fun and enjoyable. Also, if you study well with people, then you can always study with a friend and help each other out. The key to making this work though, is to make it clear that you cannot only socialize, so this way, you and your friends can keep each other accountable.
2. Stay on top of your schoolwork as much as you can.
After arriving at college, I quickly became a procrastinator. I would put off assignments and tell myself that I could do it tomorrow or the next day. However, my homework and assignments only kept piling up each day. Procrastinating in college will only add to the stress of freshman year, so if you stay on top of your schoolwork, it will make your first year of college much more enjoyable and relaxing. My motivation for staying on top of my schoolwork was that if I finished my homework for the week on Saturday, then I could have Sunday as a free day and I could hang out with my friends instead of being up to my ears in assignments.
3. Make a schedule.
Since there are so many different assignments for classes, keeping a schedule will help you not miss due dates. Also, if you keep a schedule of when you will do schoolwork, you can also plan times for socializing. Even though having a schedule is very important, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t accomplish what you need to one day. Freshman year is hard for everybody, and learning from your experiences is how you grow.
All in all, freshman year will be one of the best years of your life filled with new experiences and growth.