Welcome to college life where you are responsible for creating a college schedule which includes your study, work and project deadlines. There is not going to be anyone around to hold you accountable for getting your work done [unless you deem someone to hold you accountable].
College semesters are fast and furious and the time will seem like it is flying by. Having a visual calendar and using it, daily, will help you in focusing your time so you can balance study with social activities. Here are some steps to help you schedule your time and tips to keep you on your schedule.
Before You Begin Your College Schedule:
- Allow about one hour of focused, uninterrupted time to do this scheduling. Investing in this time early in the semester, will save you time over the semester.
- Gather all your syllabi and highlight ALL due dates for ALL projects, exams, and papers. [Tip: if you encounter any questions ask your professor to clarify as soon as possible. Be proactive whenever you have questions.]
- Get whatever calendar you use out and in front of you. Paper calendar, PDA, or the calendar on your computer, just choose the method you will be using.
- Remember color will give a visual boost when you apply your due dates. You might want to give each of your classes a separate color code.
How-to Create Your College Schedule:
- Class-by-class, enter each and every due date on your calendar. Be sure you get every quiz, exam, paper, project, and final no matter how small the assignment, get it onto your calendar. [Tip: use a pencil first, if you are entering your dates on a paper calendar. This will allow you to more easily change your dates].
- From each due date, work backwards how ever much time you determine it will take you to complete each project, review for each quiz or study for each exam. Then enter those dates onto your calendar.
- Go back and ALWAYS add in a minimum of 10-20% more time than you think it will take to get your work done and re-schedule your time. Adding this extra time will help when ‘life’ gets in the way and it always does.
Form Habits to Work Your College Schedule:
- Every morning, consult your calendar: Knowing where you are, what needs to be done, and what is coming next will help keep you on schedule AND help ease stress, because you know what is happening.
- Re-Work Your Schedule: Be ready for something new to pop up. Professors add projects, you get behind or whatever happens, be prepared to makes adjustments.
- Consider following a daily study plan: Schedule some days to study for certain class and other days to work on long-term projects. You need to be consulting your schedule, so you can tweak your system to work for you.
- Consider forming an ‘accountability pack’ with a friend, classmate, study group member or roommate. Statistics show when we have someone holding us accountable, we are more likely to rise to occasion.
- Don’t be tempted to party the weekend before a big paper is due. Stick to your schedule.
- If you somehow have gotten off-schedule, because you got sick, opted not to study, whatever, do not worry and get back on schedule! That 10-20% extra time you budgeted into your schedule should help you get back on track.
Scheduling your time and sticking to your college schedule will help you have a great college experience. Click here for more College Life Tips.