How to Organize Your Packed College Schedule

Time Management. That mythical skill we’re all just supposed to magically have in college. We have all struggled with the concept but I think I might be figuring it out. It’s a long, long process but when you figure out how to balance classes, work/internships, co-op, clubs, sports, relationships (but what are those?), and social life, don’t forget how you did it. When you find the routine best suited to you, stick to it. Find those methods that help you stay on track and on-time. The key is not listening to those around you doing different things. You are the only one who really knows the amount of stuff on your plate. It’s a bunch of trial and error. But here are some ways that work to help me with my time management. 

Here's a little background about me so you can get an idea of what I am taking on for the fall term of my sophomore year: I am a Design and Merchandising major taking 6 classes (20 credits), working part-time, running a boutique’s social media for an internship, a VS Pink campus rep, an e-board member of Her Campus, a brand new sorority member (lots and lots of meetings), and those are the important ones.

  1. 1. Write out everything you have going on

     I mean everything. Now, rank them from most important to least important. Think long and hard about what is most important. Hopefully, classes and work are at the top.

  2. 2. A PLANNER

    Buy a planner. I haven’t used a planner since middle school. I’m the girl in school who would buy that cute planner that matched everything and write in it for maybe a month, and then never again. 1 week into sophomore year, I ordered mine off Amazon Prime while sitting in my Accounting class. If you’re going to buy one, bring it everywhere. I bring mine to work, my internship, every meeting. And I whip it out every time one of my bosses asks me for my availability for a date. 

    Color code if that’s your thing. It might encourage you to actually use it if the aesthetics are pleasing. 

    Also, don’t just use it for your schedule. Mine has extra space in it for list-making so you can bet all my grocery lists, to-do lists, and rubrics for projects are in there too. 

    Google Calendar is another great, accessible alternative to a planner. I have multiple friends who swear by it and they get reminders throughout their day of upcoming events. 

  3. 3. Don’t over do it

    As someone who is “over-doing” it, don’t. It leads to unneeded stress and strains in relationships. Well, just strain everywhere. If you think you have too much on your plate, call your mom or talk to your best friend. Confide in someone you trust and have an honest conversation. That person or couple of people know you the best and are probably the ones witnessing you slowly losing it. 

  4. 4. Diversify

    Create your weekly schedules with a variety of activities. Make sure to stay on track with your future career and focus jobs/internships around your career goals that will build your resume. On the other hand, try to throw in one or two things that are a want not a need. Something you love to do that doesn’t have to be a resume enhancer. 

  5. 5. Don’t give into peer pressure

    It sounds so cliche, I know. But you don’t always have to go to that party or that happy hour. If a leadership position in a club, your job, a project that you know you can’t finish in one night is at the same time, pick and choose wisely. Of course, a social life is important in college. So go to those parties, go to those kick backs but get your stuff done.

  6. 6. Self-Care

    If you are feeling extra overwhelmed one day, take a step back. Miss a meeting that isn’t mandatory. Do a face mask that night. Light a candle. Recognize when you are starting to lose it and take those precautionary measures to keep you from boiling over.

  7. 7. Find a safe space on campus

    Find a space that’s quiet that’s just for you and maybe your closest friends. Use it to study, relax, unwind.

Hopefully, these tips will help you de-stress and manage your very busy schedule. College is amazing but can be a lot at times. Managing your time well will make everything worthwhile.