Over the next few weeks, thousands of young adults will embark on one of the most difficult time management challenges of their lives thus far…college. When adults look back on their college experiences, we tend to remember all of the fun, crazy times instead of how insanely difficult it was to adjust to being completely in control of our own schedule for the first time in our lives. It’s difficult. Looking back, I wish I’d realized three things sooner. Please do your favorite college student a favor and share this advice!
1. Remember you’re there to learn, not to get a grade
I didn’t figure this out until my third year of undergrad. My first year, I was focused on figuring out the least possible work I could do to get the best possible grade. I thought I was being efficient with my time…but I wasn’t retaining much information. When I stopped working for a grade and instead focused on learning, my studying time actually decreased. I found myself paying closer attention in class, so reviewing for tests was much easier and faster.
2. Give up on group studying
Study groups weren’t a good use of my time…but I continued to spend hours studying this way because that’s what everyone else was doing. If studying in a group works for you, great! Do that! But if it doesn’t, don’t feel that you need to say “Yes” to every study invitation just to be polite. Protect your time, study in a way that works for you, and then use the non-study time for socializing.
3. Try something different
If I regret one thing in college, it’s the fact that I didn’t sign up for the Ultimate Frisbee team. That might sound like a silly thing to regret, but it’s the only time I even remotely considered being involved in some sort of athletic team. Back then, I thought I “didn’t have time,” but now, I really don’t have time and I wish I had taken the opportunity to try something different when I had the chance. There are hundreds of ways to be involved in college, and nobody has time to try everything, but picking one thing to try that’s outside of your comfort zone is worthy of your time investment.
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