BY ANNABEL MONAGHAN
College life is a never ending conundrum of having a social life and good grades or sleep. Many joke that you can only have two, but never all. However, the problem with college students is that they are fresh out of high school – an education system that has the student’s life plotted out to a tee – and have not yet come to terms with their newfound freedom, much less the responsibility for it.
With routine thrown out the window from the moment the student reaches their campus, it throws them off track and therefore loses their balance. Balance is what keeps life functioning. In high school, there was a fixed schedule but now, routine has become something of the past.
Furthermore, without the constant classmates that serve as reminders to the upcoming due dates, or the shared social life, it becomes hard to draw a line at how much fun one should have and when one should get started on their assignments.
What college students have to understand is time management and utilize a day planner. The idea is that everyone has the same twenty four hours, and it is up to you to make it count. The problem with poor time management is brought over into the next stage of life, when one starts their career. Hours seem to fly by and never seem to be enough. However, the trick is maximizing your time.
Ronald Weasley, the fictitious character from J.K Rowling’s fantasy novels, was right about priorities. To master one’s time, one must first figure out what comes in consecutive order of importance. This does not mean that one should sacrifice a party happening in five hours in favour of an assignment due the next day.
It is not about giving up one thing for another. It is about creating an efficient workflow that keeps one productive regardless of whether one stops for a few hours.
Instead of a fixed routine which is less effective in a world of snap decisions and last minute ideas, dedicate a fixed amount of time for a series of tasks one must take part in daily such as cleaning or studying. As the Chinese say, small increments create abundance. List out tasks that if left neglected, would result in a monstrous and seemingly impossible feat. Imagine a month’s worth of work to be done in a day versus a month’s worth of work to be done in a month. The latter would prove to be a more favourable option.
After one has gotten that out of the way, it is helpful to set priorities within those confines of time. Take a page out of successful entrepreneurs’ books: tackle the hardest task first. Procrastination comes from the idea of being challenged, but when one rises up to meet it head on, it would not only build character, it makes one more competent. A necessary skill to thrive when one graduates.
To set up priorities, it helps to think in goals. Granted, this is one thing that is hard to focus on when one is trying to find oneself or any direction at all. However, it does not hard to be life changing or major for it to matter. Perhaps the goal is to raise one’s GPA, to be able to afford a significant purchase, if one would like to be more popular, be specific such as to what would constitute as popularity. Once one has a good idea of what it is they would like to achieve, everything else should fall into place. Eliminate or de-prioritise whatever does not align with one’s endgame.
However, relaxation and having fun are a part of the campus experience. Therefore, always allow time for entertainment. Any extra time one gains could go into what one could visualize as time allowance. This would serve as incentive to accomplish goals faster and in turn, heightens productivity.
When one has saved up enough time for a party, throw one. Not only is hosting an event another useful skill to gain, it would up one’s social life if done right. Performances are key to a successful event, and one can source talents on campus for a night of fun. Or one could hire an entertainer without forking out extra cash college students always seem to be low on. For some help, Special Guest App (created by Hollywood actor Damon Wayans Jr.) helps book talent without managers or agents. There are plenty of undiscovered talents on the app looking to get hired without the steep prices. Hailed as the Airbnb for entertainers, anyone can sign up as a talent which is quite perfect for college students out to make a quick buck off their own skills and creativity.
The final step to having a rich campus experience is not falling prey to what millennials have taken to calling FOMO (fear of missing out). This would only make one unhappy and destroy the meticulous planning one has done to be productive. One must learn to accept the fact that there is something happening which is more interesting than what one is doing at any given time. The way to rid oneself of the irrational doubts of whether one has made a good choice is to believe in oneself. Ask ‘what do I want?’ with emphasis on the ‘I’. Because how one feels and one wants should be much more important and satisfying than doing anything else.