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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ODU chapter.

Growing up with parents that were always an hour early to any event we were invited to meant that managing my personal time had been something I learned early on. Nevertheless, after starting my college journey I have found it extremely difficult to not only find time to do various coursework in the midst of my on-campus job, but also make plans that fit my schedule and my friends. There are obvious ways to tackle problems with time management like getting a planner, jotting things down on a calendar and just simply using your time wisely each day. I also believe there are other things you can do to settle your overworked brain when you have a packed schedule. 

Figure out what’s most important in your schedule.

Sifting through all the different things you have to do each day, or even each week, and determining which task to prioritize makes it much easier to figure out what to do with the rest of your day. Of course, the most important thing for a college student, especially a college student with a job, is putting both of those things at the top of your list. Once you have figured out where your classes and job fall in the line of your schedule, what’s next? Maybe your clubs and extracurricular activities? Where do they fall in your day-to-day or weekly schedule? Plan those on your planner or journal and after that simply think about all the fun things you can do with the time you have left or look at gaps in your schedule that can fit other cool activities on your campus or time with friends! Also, don’t forget to mentally check where in your schedule you would put your breakfast, lunch, and dinner as that is the thing keeping you up and running!

Give yourself a chill day!

Nothing is worse than when you are in college and you find yourself burnt out after a full week of classes, extracurriculars, and maybe a job. Something I highly recommend that I try to do as often as possible, is to give yourself one day out of the weekend for a rest/chill day to give yourself a break from the hectic coursework. One thing that is vital to a chill day is being able to enjoy that day fully, so I also recommend getting at least a little ahead in some of your coursework over the semester to allow yourself that rest. Even if you find yourself doing a couple of assignments on your rest day make sure to take it slow and rest to prepare for the hectic week to come. 

Plan ahead and keep track of your course schedules.

To be able to give yourself a chill day over the weekend of course you also have to think about what you can do now to help you in the future. Doing one or two assignments early that aren’t due until a few days later is an excellent way of not only keeping ahead in your courses, but also gives yourself a cushion of time to complete assignments in case of emergencies. What if your professor doesn’t have the whole course readily available or even a class schedule to go by? Well, you can always think about the “what-ifs” and also ask your professor how they plan to navigate the course and what kind of big assignments you would have to plan for in the future. Keeping track of what is due when or just keeping a mental idea of it will make managing your time in those courses much easier.

What kind of apps/resources are available for me to keep track of all my time?

Other than keeping a handheld planner, there are apps as well as resources on ODU’s campus that can help you stay on track during the semester. 

  • Notion – is a free app that you can download from the App/Google Play Store as well as download on your Mac/Windows computer. They have templates that help you create calendars, course schedules, as well as organize notes and other materials. 
  • My Study Life – also helps with organizing schedules that can be downloaded on the Google Play Store/App Store and Mac/Windows. It keeps track of numerous tasks and even reminds you when things are due or need to be done.
  • Academic Resource Center – through the Academic Resource Center(ARC) at ODU you can reach out to an academic advisor that not only helps you with self-management skills, but also helps you reach out to other sources like tutoring and advising to make sure you are on track.
  • TRiO Student Support Services – TRiO SSS is also a service here at ODU that is completely free to all students for not only advising, but helping with any tutoring or planning. They also have planned events and seminars like academic workshops and social events where you can get advice and help with anything you need to help you better manage your time and academic life.

Additionally, as you think about how to properly manage your time around your school schedule, work schedule and extracurricular activities, it is important to know when you’ve reached your limit. If things are beginning to be too much to handle, lessen those hours at work, and don’t be afraid to drop a course that is making life harder for you now and take it later down the road. Nothing is more important than your physical and mental health, so tackle things at your own pace!

Hello! My name is Maria Toombs and I am a Journalism Major at Old Dominion University! I am a lover of the most cheesiest of romance novels, and I believe writing is not only a source of healing, but a gateway into letting your voice be heard.