If you start feeling overwhelmed by all the things you’re suddenly responsible for, you should take a few deep breaths before continuing. Managing your life might have been something your parents or guardians did before. In university or college, it’s up to you to make it to the cafeteria before they close. It’s up to you to wash your clothes and find time to study for that midterm in two weeks.
Now you might be wondering how the heck you’re going to manage this. I’m here to tell you that you can manage this. It may require learning some new skills, but that’s what post-secondary is all about, isn’t’ it?
Figure Out What You Need to Do Now
The trick about managing your workload is a process of taking all your tasks and putting them in categories for now and for later. On any given day in class you may be given assignments for papers, projects or be told there’s a test coming up. Three courses per term makes you a full-time student, though many take five courses. Five essays all due at the same time is a reality you might face. That’s starting to sound like a lot, isn’t it?
You’re in luck! Many professors and instructors will give you a syllabus at the beginning of class. This handy piece of paper usually outlines how many papers or projects the class has along with dates for exams or tests. Make sure you read the syllabus. Compare these with your other classes and look at the dates. Write down when these important assignments are due in your agenda. Another perk? Most schools give you an agenda, for free, during orientation. See? There’s a reason why they force that on you.
There is a wealth of information out in the world on how to become a boss at managing your time. You also need to consider what kind of person you are. Are you visual? Maybe you need to get a bulletin board to put up in your dorm room with notes on it to help keep you organized. Are you constantly on your smartphone? I bet you are. Have you looked at time management apps? There are loads right in a student’s budget: free.
Figure Out What is Really Important
Many people go to university and college away from home in order to break free from the life they had before and discover who they are. This can be totally liberating, but also distracting. While it may seem like if you don’t go to every single house party in existence you’ll face certain social death, you have to keep in mind what your end-goal is. There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself. By all means, please do! Enjoying your life and finding new hobbies or interests is an integral part of becoming an adult.
Remember why you came to university or college. What’s your goal? Is it to become a master of the social party? Or is it to get an education to propel yourself into that job you’ve been dreaming about doing since you were twelve?
Use the resources available to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you find yourself slipping. This new chapter in your life will potentially cause you some stress but it’s really important to ask for help when you need it. There are skilled advisors and free supports at your school that you should check out. No one becomes a master in a day.
Owning Time Management
Once you’ve realized that owning your time management skills doesn’t require you to already have a Masters in Organizational Awesomeness you’ll be able to breathe a lot easier. Not only will you be able to effectively organize your brain to handle the two mid-terms and three essay assignments that are looming, you’ll also be able to squeeze in a coffee with friends to help you unwind.
About “The Navigator”
“The Navigator” is a monthly blog about student life by the Campus Manitoba Virtual Help Desk. Check back monthly to find more tidbits of wisdom with “The Navigator”. You’ll be sure to find all kinds of information that will help you be successful in your educational journey. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news and information!