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Time Management Tips to Ensure a Stress-Free Semester

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

It’s insanely easy to get behind on assignments, forget a quiz or two or sleep through your classes. With a full course schedule, managing your time to ensure everything gets done can be difficult. It can also cause a ton of unnecessary stress. Navigating my first semester in university, I discovered a lot of methods in order to manage my time properly while still maintaining high grades and low stress. With finals around the corner, I am confident enough in my methods of organization and planning to ensure my marks will remain steady and my stress levels will not escalate. These are some methods to ensure you are managing your time well with little anxiety towards completing assignments and tests.

Write Out Your Syllabus Prior to Classes Beginning
One of the best things I did this semester was writing out information about my assignments for each of my classes in an easily accessible notebook. I looked at the syllabi for my courses and wrote out the assignment title, basic details and the percentage each assignment was worth for each class. After this, I wrote out the larger assignments and tests for every class in chronological order by the due date on a paper and attached it to my desk. This way, after each assignment I can cross it out as complete, as well as see what assignment is next on the agenda. Compiling due dates for all classes together is helpful to ensure no assignment, quiz or test is forgotten somehow. The final way to write out your due dates in the syllabus is to use a calendar. You can see how busy your month will be and which days you might have more free time to get ahead or plan leisurely activities surrounding busy periods. Figuring out your downtime days will ensure balance and create a less stressful semester.

My Best Friend: Google Calendar
The best decision I ever made for my time management skills was using google calendar. Google calendar allows you to time-block your day to ensure every minute is accounted for. Within google calendar, you can create separate “calendars” based on what you do in your everyday life. Creating sections such as studying, classes, leisure, workout and work will allow you to create a balance of what you need to do and what you want to do throughout your days. I always put my due dates and test days within my calendar at the beginning of the semester and add reminder notifications one week prior to the deadline. Every Sunday, I go through what needs to be done for the week and create a schedule for doing assignments, studying for tests as well as any chores such as grocery shopping or laundry. It is important to give yourself leeway time, for leisurely activities or unexpected things that may come up. There are many helpful tutorials online to navigating google calendar and having your days planned out takes a ton of stress off your shoulders.

Balance is Necessary
Planning to make notes for the entire day is not a good strategy to ensure they get done. Allowing time for yourself is key to getting things done, as studying in shorter bursts has been proven to be more effective in actually getting things done. Many students leave assignments to the last minute and must cram in order to complete an assignment. But planning your days out by balancing a mix of leisure, chores and schoolwork will create a less stressful and manageable lifestyle for you to uphold throughout the semester. Trying to do so much at once is not sustainable and will create burnout and you will end up falling behind anyways. Setting aside time for movie nights or going on walks will result in better studying, as you are not burnt out and have given yourself time away from school.

School can be stressful, especially around exam time and midterms. The key to ensuring less stress is simply managing your time using multiple methods and creating the discipline to ensure the plans you make are actually followed through. Knowing plans are in place takes a huge weight off your back and allows you to focus more on what single objective you’ve set aside to complete rather than have a plethora of assignments floating in your mind and no idea where to begin.

Kaileigh Klein

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Kaileigh is studying Communications at Wilfrid Laurier University. When she's not binge watching Gilmore Girls, she can be found reading romance novels in the park or wandering aimlessly around bookstores inevitably spending all her money on books.
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