Are You Getting the Most Out of College?

By on July 24, 2014

Amidst the balancing of classes, studying, work, a family/social life, and occasionally sleep, time management may be the skill you develop the most in college. It can be very tempting to find places to cut corners in order to have enough time for everything.

Although you may not think you’ll ever need to understand the hypothetical finer points of the 17th century novel, your degree shouldn’t be just another point on your resume.

A typical class load is 12-15 hours with 2-3 hours per credit hour recommended for studying. So, between classes and studying, you should be spending an average of 48 hours a week on education! Extracurricular and volunteer work need to be on a resume or CV as well, so you somehow have to make time for that. You probably want to squeeze in a few hours with friends and/or a significant other.

Add a part-time job, time for sleeping, eating, and showering, and you probably find your week gone.

Instead of saving time by slacking on schoolwork, here are a few ways to find extra time without short-changing yourself:

The eBook App

Whether you have an hour to devote to reading or if it’s a few minutes waiting at Starbucks, you can always have your assignment in your pocket. These apps allow you to highlight text and take notes as well. A bonus is that many literary classics either are free or are very inexpensive.

The Memory Game

Tape a section of your class notes on your bathroom mirror, and read them while you brush your teeth and floss.

Place other sections in areas you see multiple times per day, like on a kitchen cabinet or set a photo of them as your computer wallpaper.

This way, these notes are seen the most.

Is there a particular term you’re having trouble remembering? Change the password for a site you log into frequently to that word. After you have to look it up a time or two, you’ll remember it.

The Audiobook

Similar to the eBook app, audiobooks can be downloaded to your favorite device. Driving, walking to class, or eating? Those are opportunities to multitask.

These can be available for a lower cost through subscription services like Audible, as companions to Kindle eBooks, or free if you have a Birmingham Public Library card.

Hit Record

Your phone likely has a voice recorder built in, and this can be a great study tool. Record lectures after asking your professor for permission or record yourself reading your notes. The key to this is to listen frequently – not just an hour before an exam.

If you do follow the last two, pause wisely. Traffic and crossing streets always demand your undivided attention.


Additionally, keeping an assignment calendar can help. Mark all of your due dates for long-term projects, then schedule smaller increments to work on them in advance.

Write out a study schedule, and do your best to stick to it.

With careful planning and smarter study techniques, you can enjoy school, receive more benefits from your time, and be a good conversationalist when you discover your future boss is a 17th century literature enthusiast.


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