Too Much on Your Plate? …It’s Crunch Time!

College is structured with such immense freedom and responsibility that students are left to independently develop time management skills if they wish to succeed.

Classes meet for longer, homework is heftier, and playing sports requires an enormous commitment. The list of clubs is more extensive than ever, but with most meeting in the evenings, it seems that students are forced to choose between attending a meeting and starting their paper at a reasonable time.

As a freshman, Kathryn Lunte ‘15 is still in the adaptive stage. “My time management is completely horrible,” she confesses. “I’m the worst procrastinator.”

Jane Young is the greenhouse caretaker at the Mars Center for Science and Technology, but she also serves as a mentor for a Freshman Year Seminar. She commonly advises students on how to keep it all together.

Both Lunte and Young suggested the biggest distraction from academics is campus living itself—everything, from sports, to food, to friends, and mischief can all be found in one centralized location.

As the semester progresses, it can be easy to feel like deadlines and social opportunities are popping up every day; Especially at a place like Wheaton, voted 6th in the country for most things to do on campus.  How can we stand a chance?

“I want to start doing intramural soccer soon,” Lunte says. “But I don’t know how I’m going to make it work.”
When students in the same situation approach Young, she provides a few suggestions for prioritizing what to do and minimizing stress.

“Write down what needs to be done, how long each task or activity takes and plan your week every Sunday night.  Since more long term projects are the rule, time has to be evenly spread over each week for each task to avoid all-nighters and panic.”

Young’s strategy for success is not to let one aspect of the college experience dominate over all others.  Like they say, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.   

“Balance is critical.  All social leads to academic failure.  All academic leads to stress and burn out.  All sports hurts both academics and social.  Balance, balance, balance.”

Time management is controlled by responsibility and anyone can find themselves in a position requiring a game-time decision.

Practice makes perfect and Wheaton is a place where students can learn from experience, plus they can and always ask people like Jane Young for help along the way.  We can only hope they will leave as sensible adults.