Time Management for College Students: How to Keep Your Head in the Game

Selena Sandoval

In high school I thought I was well organized, but when I got to college I realized I had much more to keep track of. I no longer had my parents to remind me about upcoming deadlines. Being a student-athlete and having a job in college gave me even more to juggle. My schedule at Notre Dame de Namur University can get pretty hectic. Softball practice starts at 5:00 a.m. with class right after, and my job on campus begins immediately after that. Not to mention that I have to find time to shower and eat meals.

My all-time favorite quote is Benjamin Franklin’s, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” College organization and planning are essential to keeping my head in the game at all times.

Recently, I got to class and I asked a teammate of mine whether she’d done the homework and studied for the quiz. “Homework? Quiz?” she asked. I never want to be in that situation.

To stay organized, I sit down on Sunday evening and plan out every single day before my week starts. I have four calendars/planners to coordinate my life: two planners (one for schoolwork, another for study hours) and two calendars on my phone (one for my work schedule, and one for practices/workouts). I also put neon pink sticky notes on my desk to remind myself of special errands, like doing my laundry.

I use a planner for school to make sure I know what tests I have throughout the semester. For each class, I highlight all major assignments and tests on the syllabus with a yellow marker and add them to the planner. I also use the planner for my daily homework assignments, making sure I get them all done before they are due.

For practices, I always get my equipment and uniform ready the night before since it starts so early. That way, I don’t feel rushed in the morning and I make sure not to forget anything. I have a calendar app on my phone with all our practices, workouts, and games, so if I ever forget I can just look on my phone. Having that information on my phone tends to work out better because I’m always on the go.

Part of why I stay organized is so I have time in the evening to have fun. I try to get all my obligations finished by 6:00 p.m. The evening is when I see my friends, whether it’s hanging out with them or going to dinner. I also always try to make time to call my parents in the evening, because being away from home can be hard sometimes.

My time management and organizational skills have gotten so much better since I started using apps on my phone and planners to keep my life together. Not only do I keep my appointments and finish assignments on time, but my grades have improved with my time management. The organizational skills I’m learning in college will also serve me well after graduation in my professional career.

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Notre Dame de Namur University embraces diversity of many kinds. More than half of NDNU freshmen are the first in their family to attend college. In the most recent incoming class, 98% received some form of financial aid. NDNU has been listed among the top ten most diverse campuses in the United States.

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