Time Management For College Students - How To Balance Your College Schedule

comments (0) July 19th, 2019     

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CourtneyOsborne CourtneyOsborne, member
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Time management for college students can become a big challenge. One factor that might influence this is crafting the wrong schedule when you register for classes. In high school, your counselor hands you a fixed schedule for every semester. You might get something like periods 1-7 and lunch 5th period. Each class is like 45 minutes long and 5 days a week.

In college it's the total opposite. You have the option to make your own class schedule. You might find yourself taking a course at least twice a week, sometimes once in you're willing to sit in class for at least 3 hours.


As a freshman in college, I remember the first time I registered for my classes. I sat with a college adviser and told her that i can pay to write essay for me and my education as a pediatrician. She recommended the classes that I needed to take based on my placement test scores for math and English, career goals, and high school level on biology.

She even asked me if I had any other interesting course I wanted to take in mind. I told her public speaking. Public speaking doesn't really relate to my major, but I just wanted to take that course to help me improve my communication skills. All together, I had 5 classes as a freshman which is 16 credits.

Anyways, she helped me choose my classes but didn't make a fixed schedule for me. Instead, I had to go to the college website and register for each course she recommended on my own. By doing this, I had the opportunity to choose the time and days I wanted to take each class.

So let's say I wasn't a morning person, instead of taking my public speaking class early in the morning, I can schedule to take it at 5pm instead. Or let's say I didn't want to go to school on Fridays. I will just make sure that I don't register for any of my classes on that day.

Cool huh!? That doesn't happen in high school lol…this is how you know time management for college students can be as flexible as they make it but, here is the problem, you have to be wise and set your goals straight before you schedule your classes. This is one great key in time management for college students; Learning how to balance your college schedule.

  • Ask yourself- ''What do I want to accomplish while in college. '' For instance, are you planning on working off campus, joining a sports team, partying in the weekends, becoming a Ra for the dorms? Etc., figure out which days and time you should take each class so you can adjust it in a way you can accomplish all your goals. But always remember this; your top priorities when scheduling your classes is to not only plan for the time you spend in class but for the time you set aside to study.

  • Avoid squeezing classes- Many students clutter up all their classes for only 2 days out of the week just to get the other days off. Wrong move! Mind you, most college lectures is at least 1.5 hrs long, unlike high school classes which are only 45 minutes long. If you're taking a course only once a week in college, it might be at least 3hrs long to make up for the other missing day.

  • This can leave you feeling tired and unfocused due to all the other classes you took earlier that day. It can also make it harder to sink everything you learned into your brain. So always make sure you schedule at least 2 classes a day. Now that's great time management for college students =)

  • Do it ASAP!- Effective time management for college students also means meeting deadlines. Don't wait until the last minute to register for classes. This will limit your chooses. Let's say you wanted to take all your classes in the morning and get them over with, maybe because you're planning on working in the afternoon or joining an extracurricular activity, yet you wait until the last minute to register, well that's too bad, because sadly all morning classes are full, now you have no other choose but to choose afternoon classes. See how waiting until the last minute just limited your opportunity of getting a flexible job?

  • Working- If you're thinking about working, make your schedule as flexible as possible, especially if you're planning on working off campus, such as a retail store in the mall. This can be more stressful then working on campus because your opportunities are limited. Your manager might not understand that your school comes first; it will be difficult to call out if you need more time to study for finals and your job is not secure. You are likely to quite during spring or winter break to go back home to your family.

  • With work studies on campus on the other hand, you have a better chance of balancing your college schedule with your job because the school always make sure that your work schedule is flexible so it don't get in the way of your academic schedule. Another advantage is that the government doesn't take out taxes on your work study paycheck. So always make sure you plan ahead and ask for job opportunities in your school and when filing for your financial aid.

  • If it doesn't work out because space is limited or you don't qualify, make sure you seek a job that don't build too much stress on your academic schedule. Don't ever let your job overpower your academic life. If that's the case, I think it's time you look for another job. Remember; a part time job is not your career. Effective time management for college students means putting top priorities first.

  • Try to take at least 12 to 16 credits per semester- That's likes 4 to 5 classes. Your college tuition actually covers for this range of credits and I believe they charge you by credit hr for every credit over 18. Effective time management for college students means not taking too much courses at once so you can stress yourself out and not taking too little so you can end up taking too much later. Take the right number of classes for each semester

  • Get requirements out of the way- Most colleges require that you take certain classes to insure that you explored subjects outside your major. Your best bet is to take these classes now and put all your focus on courses related to your major in the upcoming semesters. Now that's great time management for college students. Well and less headache.

  • Balance your courses- You may be eager to choose the hard courses in the beginning of the semester to get them out of the way. That's way too much stress. Good time management for college students includes balancing it out, for instance, instead of been stuck reading 6 books or writing 6 research papers in one week. Choose a mixture of course levels and requirements; journalism requires a lot of writing, English literature requires a lot of reading and math and science gets you thinking a lot. This way, you aren't stuck writing a 6 page research paper the whole week etc.,

  • Take writing courses in the beginning of your first semester even if you don't have to. You will be writing a lot in college, so you can really use the writing skills you mastered in this course for all your other classes.


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