When people ask me how to manage your time in college the first thing I say is how different it is from high school.
When you are in high school every day is pretty much like the next. You get up (as late as possible to still make it to school on time) and go to the same classes every day.
Maybe you have sports or after school activities or a job –pretty much every day. You go home and have dinner and maybe do some homework. Then you log on to TV or games or Facebook with friends. Then you go to bed. And then you do it again!
But it feels pretty under control. No thought required. Easy breezy.
Not so easy breezy in college. You have to learn how to manage your time in college and it is very different.
It will seem odd that you have lots of gaps of time between classes. Maybe days from one class to the next. You may take 3 classes one day and none for the next. You may take all your classes at night if your work or family life demands it. That hour or so you spent on homework in high school will not get you through college. You will have to plan your assignments over a long period of time allowing for study, reading, researching papers, getting them reviewed by others, getting tutoring before tests.
It will not work to wait to the last minute if you want that A.
And you do want that A because you learned how to manage your time in college.
The quality of your GPA and the array of other things that you do with your time –internship or job, leading a club or community project—all add up to a resume that says you learned how to manage your time in college.
That is what an employer wants to see. A high quality multi-tasker! College is also not like high school in that no one is leaning over you to remind you of what needs doing. Often there are no markers along the way to let you know how you are doing or there are fewer chances to redeem yourself.
You may have no quizzes or very few and only a midterm and final paper or exam that your whole grade is based upon. So if you are not going to class and keeping up with the work along the way you can really get burned by not managing your time in college well. So we asked some folks who did just that in college. We talked to students who had very high grades and who also had jobs or internships and who also headed clubs and did community service.
The good news is that these were the students that were in demand by employers and grad schools because they showed that they could even teach others how to manage your time in college and achieve excellence.
Below, in their own words, are some of the tips that they offered that led to their success through managing their time well in college: