How Do I Balance My Time in College?

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September 13, 2021 by

Time management. You’ve heard the term in all the pre-college pep talks you’ve received from adults, seniors and recent university graduates, your big sister or brother, and your older friends. 

But why is time management so important?

While living on a college campus, you may find yourself constantly bombarded with things to do and be involved in, while being overwhelmed by your academic workload. Conversely, there are also seasons where you may feel lost and unsure of how to spend your time and have a lot of free time on your hands to watch Netflix. 

This is where time management comes in handy. Today, I’ll share with you a few tips that have helped me organize my time at Cedarville. Trust me, I’m still learning this process myself, and I am a third-year senior. So I’m preaching to the choir here. These are a few tricks of the trade that will help you to balance your life as a student. 

 

1. Buy a Planner 

First of all, if you do not have a planner, pull up Amazon.com, drive to Target or Walmart in Beavercreek, or head to the bookstore on campus. Even though our culture is increasingly digital, I find it very helpful to write my assignments into my calendar by hand and use color-coding highlighters. Being able to see the full expanse of my assignments at a glance in my small, portable planner gives me peace and confidence about how much I have to get done and the time I have to accomplish it in. 

 

2. Schedule Out Your Month 

I find the Canvas calendar so helpful, and I encourage you to go through your planner at the beginning of every semester and pencil in your assignments. It helps to do a month at a time so you can pace yourself. Just make sure you don’t miss anything important on a roll-over week, and be careful to check any syllabus calendars or reading schedules, because sometimes those assignments are not uploaded to the Canvas calendar. 

No matter how long you have been at Cedarville, you have probably picked up on the Google calendar trend and have maybe even hopped on it yourself. One of the best features of Google calendar is the ability to invite people to plans, so your one-on-one or group outing can go directly into the Google calendars of all involved. I love using Google calendar for personal commitments and my paper planner for assignments. 

 

3. Make To-Do Lists 

While at a school like Cedarville, it is important to loosely schedule your day, balancing work and fun. Making to-do lists is a perfect way to balance this. I say “loosely” because while you should structure your time and commit to studying for the amount of time that your homework requires, it is also important to stop for breaks, take advantage of the opportunities to be found here at school, and spend time developing relationships with others. I would also recommend being flexible … you never know when your friend could have car troubles or you might spill coffee all over your dorm room floor on the way out the door (true story).

Try to prioritize your work when you make your to-do lists so you can stay on top of important assignments. Instead of biting off more than you can chew or cramming in five chapters in one evening, write a to-do list at the beginning of the week. Try to schedule out your homework in chunks that include a little bit of work from one class and a bit from the other. Whether that be bouncing back and forth between homework from different classes or doing a little reading at a time balanced out by some calculus problems, this tried-and-true method works wonders on a mind that doesn’t feel ready to sit down and grind. 

 

4. Balance Your Time 

I love studying with my friends! The longer you are here at Cedarville and the more advanced your classes become, you and your friends will have more homework to do. Studying together inevitably becomes the highlight of your social calendar during the week, and for much of the weekend, too. Be prepared to spend time with friends in the studying environment, but make sure that they are committed to studying themselves, or else you may end up getting distracted. Or becoming a distraction yourself. 🙂 

I also love “one-on-ones” with friends. Again, this is another concept that you will hear a lot at Cedarville. Getting a meal with someone is a great way to catch up on their life, encourage one another, and maybe even keep each other accountable. One of the biggest ways I keep in touch with friends who I no longer see as often as I used to is by getting meals with them. 

Eating meals with groups of friends is often a great way to talk and destress by taking a break from homework and other commitments and sharing a meal together. 

Finally, be careful with how you spend your free time. Take time to care for your spiritual and physical health. It’s fun to watch tv and keep up with friends from home on social media, but it is important to spend time with the Lord, to work out or go outside, and to pour into your relationships. Read some of our other posts for ideas of things to do in your free time while you’re a Cedarville student! 

 

5. Last But Not Least, Seek the Lord 

While I have shared some tips that have helped me and my friends throughout our time at Cedarville, one of the most important things you can do, no matter what life stage you find yourself in, is to seek the Lord and His will above all else. Prayer is a beautiful way to surrender your plans to Jesus and to trust His guidance. If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about your busy life as a student, pray for the Lord’s peace and the ability to accomplish what has been set before you. Before you commit to a club, job, or student organization, pray for wisdom. Pray for relationships that will push you toward Christ, and pray for the friends He has given you. If you are seeking to align your heart with His, the Lord will guide you as you work for Him. In Ephesians 2:10, it says that as believers, we are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” When we seek to do His will, the Lord promises to work through us by His Spirit.

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