There’s a common joke around campus that you have three options in college: do well in class, be social and involved, and sleep and that you can succeed in two of three. There is some truth behind that, but it’s not the complete picture.
During my freshman year, I saw my schedule and realized that I was only going to be in class for three hours a day. I falsely believed I would have hours of free time daily. Now that I’m a sophomore, I’m shocked at how much you can pack into a college day. Most of my days include two or three hours of classes, a few hours at work, an organization meeting, and a long stop at the library. Factor in travel time and meals and you have a twelve hour day.
Time management is the most valuable skill you can develop. To get the most out of college, you have to take advantage of every hour. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be running around from sunrise to sunset, but you need to keep track of how you spend your time. Buying a day planner or using a calendar on a computer is practically a necessity.
My advice is simple. Organize your priorities and isolate the things that are really important to you and then focus on them. When it comes to being involved, quality is much more important than quantity. You’ll develop deeper friendships and a stronger resume that way.
Also, sleep is a student’s best friend. All too often students try to get by nightly on two or three hours of sleep. They end up acting like zombies and can never be productive. Getting eight hours every night is a tough challenge, but there is always a healthy balance.