Practical time management skills can help one build the confidence and energy to succeed. Such skills can benefit college students’ mental health, especially when all elements of their work, academic and personal life are clouding together.
Time management skills do not arrive overnight; they develop with time. Efficiently balancing time can be especially tricky for incoming freshmen who are just coming out of high school.
Ruth Duran, a criminology freshman at Texas State, explains that college has been an adjustment. She believes it was easier to procrastinate in high school and still manage to get good grades. However, Duran did not expect to put all her time and energy in college just to receive a passing grade.
“I procrastinate way too much because everything seems optional; Sunday is when I rush everything before the timer hits 11:59 p.m. There are many professors who don’t care if their students pass or fail. In high school, it was much simpler because my teachers wanted their students to pass and graduate,” Duran said.
Procrastination is a toxic trait that 90% of college students inherit, according to psychologist William Knause. The habit wastes time and makes one feel like they are not in control of their work or goals. To combat procrastination habits, writing down a list of tasks and goals for the day or week can formulate a structure that can relieve stress.
Again, building time management skills takes time and patience, but as the years move forward, one can adapt and attain them. Jocelyn Rodriguez, a business junior at Texas State, believes her time management skills have improved vigorously since her freshman year.
“I was used to re-taking tests in high school, so when I started college, it was difficult to adjust and make time to study,” Rodriguez said. “For one, being a first-generation student didn’t make things easier since I had to learn things on my own. However, now I’ve adapted to college and know when to set time aside to study, work and be with my friends.”
College students tend to be sleep deprived due to the work overload they experience at night, and some may end up waking up exhausted the next day just to go back to work or take on school work. Failure to get a decent amount of sleep could lead to a lack of motivation and serious health risks along the road.
It may seem difficult to balance a busy life and feel like a break is nonexistent; however, it is possible.
Students have different schedules they are working around, but it is necessary to make time for sleep and rest. An average individual should get about seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Sleep increases a healthier state of mind; thus, students acquire healthy energy, which will motivate them to accomplish their school work.
Additionally, because college students spend at least 10 to 13 hours studying every week, it is important to take sufficient brain breaks. Just like children, young adults get easily distracted as well, especially if we are working on assignments that are unamusing. It is tempting to scroll through social media or watch a show during a study break; however, this happens to take away one’s motivation to continue school work.
Students should explore more effective ways to balance time during study breaks. They can avoid devices and use a short time to work out, take a walk, listen to music, take a short nap, read, journal or engage in meaningful conversations. These are beneficial ways to increase serotonin and productivity.
It is normal for a college student to have a lot on their plate, but with an overload comes stress and anxiety. Students should check in with themselves daily and make sure their mental health is okay. Reaching out to friends and family just to talk or receive advice can quickly bring ease and short relief.
Texas State also offers mentoring and academic coaching that can serve as an excellent resource for students struggling with stress while having a well-structured life. These mentors can provide guidance to basic time management techniques that can help reach school, work and personal life achievements.
It is possible to do the things you love while making money and focusing on academic studies, but it all starts with the student. College is fast-paced enough; it is crucial to slow down and make sure that time is not being wasted. After all, time management is key to college success.
- Sofia Julbe is a psychology junior
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