The Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth has published numerous information and links regarding how students can manage their time while attending college (see link below). One of their college websites states “Unlike high school, where teachers frequently structured assignments and classes filled the day, in college, students will have less in-class time, more outside of class work, and a great deal of freedom and flexibility.”
It is important that students understand how to manage the “freedom and flexibility” mentioned in the above statement. This is especially true of those students who are full time residents on campus. These students tend to be the ones, especially freshmen, who enjoy having the freedoms they may have not had while attending high school and living at home. Completing assignments are usually no longer due the next day but rather future deadlines are specified with regards to tasks and assessments that will determine mid-term and final grades. Instead of completing assignments daily, students now have assignments that can be due from one week to the next week.
One of the most important tips involves “Spacing things out”. This tip refers to planning and organizing the assignments so that each receives the best effort possible. Procrastination cannot be exercised if a student is to be successful while attending college. College@Home.com has stated “Resist the urge to procrastinate. Everyone knows how hard it is to want to stay in and study for finals when it's perfect outside or you've just gotten a new video game. The world is full of distractions, and to really be effective at managing your time you have to find a way to ignore them when it counts.”
By following this tip, students are better prepared for the career they are pursuing. College becomes a “practice field” for those who are dedicated and determined to experience success in completing courses and degrees. Those students who plan ahead and who organize their weeks according to priorities will discover that they are better equipped whenever it comes to interviews and job opportunities.
Another worthwhile tip is linked with having a calendar. Whether it is in the paper format or it is on your cell phone or a PDA, it is important that students utilize one calendar when it comes to organizing time each week. There are some time management professionals who suggest that time be scheduled for social life and be scheduled on a calendar. The belief is that when people actually write down social life plans, as well as work plans, the calendar becomes very important. There are even some who suggest that people schedule relaxation. The reason is linked with the fact that when people write down plans on a calendar, they are more apt to experience what is written.
Here are some other links to check with regards to time management and its effect on successful college experiences:
(links to download of handouts – Master schedule is excellent!)
(57 tips for students – great ideas)
(steps for strict time management)
(time management worksheet prepared at Rutgers)
(tips for business majors)
Donna Hupe teaches ED 101 – Field Experience I and has been a Pre-Student Teacher/Student Teacher Supervisor at Saint Vincent College for the past five and a half years.