It is that time again – the academic year is upon us! I am fortunately beginning my second year of college and cannot wait to get back into an academic routine. Being a First Generation college student, time management in college was new to me and I didn’t have anyone in my family to ask. Luckily, my college provided incredible resources and I was able to find a routine that worked for me. So, I would like to share with you some tips I have for time management in college.

1.) Schedule it Out!

Whether you are an avid planner or not, I found that scheduling times I would dedicate to school work helped immensely. Not only did it help me keep track of when I would study, but it also made me feel more inclined to work and not procrastinate. I ultimately felt more in control. Whether you plan out your day or just keep a simple to-do list, finding times to study in the midst of a busy day is essential.

2.) Make Little Goals

I find this to be especially important with big assignments. Writing “complete paper for philosophy” can be incredibly intimidating and I find myself more likely to push it off. On the other hand, when I create goals such as “finish outline” or “finish concluding paragraph”, I find the assignment to be more manageable and less stressful.

3.) Treat Yourself!

There is no doubt that mental health is important. I find that when I try to cram a bunch of assignments into one six hour sitting, I tend not to do as well as I would like. When I give myself little breaks, however, I find that I am more productive. I typically like to give myself a 5-10 minute phone break for every 1 hour of work I complete. Taking a break can also include something you love like coloring or going to the gym. Now, I am not saying that you have to stick to a rigid schedule – but when you feel yourself becoming worn out, taking a break is important.

4.) Change it Up!

Altering your routine in little ways helps keep you on your toes. Do your work in a new spot. Change the order in which you complete assignments. This keeps things fresh and exciting.

5.) Form a Study Group

Forming a study group with other students in your class can help you succeed. It can be especially helpful to have a peer explain a topic or term to you because they will relate to you best. It can also be helpful if you explain a topic or term to someone else. Not only will it help them but if you can explain it in your own words you are one step closer to mastering the topic!

Ultimately academic work and studying is very personal and varies from person to person. It is important to find out what works for you. Creating a personal system that fits your needs will help you succeed academically. So as this school year commences I encourage you to find that system and embrace it. Good luck to all!