Between doing your homework, hanging out with friends, participating in extracurriculars, and serving in ministry, you may feel like you never have enough time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your obligations, and you’re not alone—many college students struggle with finding the balance between their academics, social lives, and church ministries.
Managing your time is one of the most challenging aspects of college, but with a few tips, it can make all the difference in achieving success in college.
How to Manage Your Time in College
1. Buy—and use—a planner
In high school, you may have been able to get away without a planner or organizer. However, in college, you’re going to be juggling 4–6 classes a semester, each with its own set of deadlines for major research papers, projects, and assignments. Whether it’s a fancy leather journal or a mobile app, a planner will help you organize assignments, determining which tasks need to be done and when.
Mark the major assignments of the semester into your planner, and set up your own personal deadlines for your tests and papers a few days before they’re due. Give yourself some extra time in case of a faulty printer, a family emergency, or an illness. Don’t be that student who has to cram the night before a test or pull an all-nighter for a paper you could have worked on all week long.
2. Schedule everything
With your planner, you can create daily and weekly schedules. Write down what you expect to accomplish every week, every day, or even every hour.
Start by blocking off time for your most important obligations in your planner. To make this easier, you can separate your responsibilities and tasks into categories, such as class & homework, extracurricular activities, health & fitness, church & ministry, friends, and personal time.
You also want to schedule time for relaxation, rewards, and unexpected events. Everyone needs a break. Maybe you decide that Wednesday nights will be game night. Or you can implement a no-homework policy on Friday nights.
With so much going on, it’s easy to burn out, so make sure that you have plenty of time for rest and relaxation.
3. Prioritize your time
You’re always going to have a million things to do. Prioritization is the key to success. Figure out what’s most important to you and dedicate a specific number of hours to it. If you want to become the captain of the soccer team, make sure you go to every practice and extra session. If you’re trying to do well in your English composition class, spend the extra time to proofread your work and visit the Writing Lab, if needed.
Prioritizing your time also means saying no. You may need to turn down a leadership position or skip out on those late-night Wawa runs. If you’re juggling too many responsibilities, you aren’t going to be performing your best. Instead, focus on doing a few things well.
Your responsibilities and priorities are unique to you. Maybe you’re an introvert who likes a few hours of down time. Maybe you’re a Bible study leader and need to set aside an extra hour to prep. Or maybe you bet your parents that you’d get straight A’s this semester.
Whatever the case may be, remember that your schedule is going to look different from your roommate’s, and that’s OK.
Cairn University: Walk a Different Path
At Cairn University, we want to help you stand out in your faith, your career, and your calling. We’re committed to training men and women of character who put their education into practice. Download our eBook to learn more about what you should look for in a Christian college.