Tips for time management during your first year of college

As freshmen take their first step onto Penn State’s vast campus, the list of responsibilities grow. Suddenly, your parents aren’t there to hound you about studying or to make your dinner. It can be daunting at first, but eventually you’ll fall into a healthy routine.

I remember my first day of class freshman year. Class started at 10:10 a.m. but I made sure to wake up at eight. I wore my favorite skirt and curled my hair. Then I went to the dining hall with my roommate and scarfed down a bowl of cereal as I eagerly awaited my first class of the day: Anthropology.

If every day of my college career started this way, I’d have a much better GPA. Unfortunately, this routine ended after the first week of school.

By the second week, I was skipping breakfast to catch a few more precious minutes of sleep. I’d wake up late, grab the first outfit I saw and head out the door.

My routine only worsened as the semester progressed. I found myself arriving 15 minutes late to a 50-minute class.

On top of that, I would stay up late talking to friends or watching TV in the common area. The temptation of sleeping in became too difficult to resist, especially since my parents weren’t there to make sure I got to class on time.

One day in English class, my friend asked how I felt about the rough draft which had to be submitted online the night before. I froze.

“What rough draft?” I said.

It was then I finally learned I was in desperate need of structure.

I had skipped a decent amount of classes, neglected assignments, ate chocolate pudding for every meal and joined zero clubs.

In high school you take the same classes every day with people you’ve known for years. In college, you may take a few classes where you don’t know a single soul. You may join a club where you don’t recognize anyone. But it’s important to socialize because friends can also act as a parental unit as you encourage each other to eat healthy, go the gym together, get enough sleep and most importantly, attend class.

My solution to this problem is to make at least one friend in every class. This person doesn’t have to become a life-long best friend, just someone you feel comfortable enough texting, “Do you understand the bio homework?” or “How long does the research paper have to be?”

Another option is to join an honors fraternity or other academic based organization. You’ll want to surround yourself with responsible friends. The first friend I made in college rarely attended class or studied, yet she somehow received A’s and B’s on exams. As a result, I quickly adopted this mentality, naively believing I could just as easily attain a similar result.

By sophomore year I had made several friends taking the same courses. We would coordinate study groups and help one another concentrate on the task at hand.

From this, I learned I was able to socialize with friends while also studying for class.

People aren’t wrong when they say the social aspect of college is just as important as the academic aspect. Who’s to say the two aspects can’t coincide?

To read the article which was originally published on The Daily Collegian, click here.

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