Whether you’re starting college this quarter or coming back after summer break, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the routine of being a student again. One of the most important ways to succeed in and out of the classroom is to master time management. Here are 5 tips to help you get started!
Use a calendar to keep up with your classes
Some people like using the latest technology on their smartphones, while others prefer posting a big paper calendar on their wall and covering it with notes. Either way is great, as long as you use your calendar to keep track of all of your reading, assignments, and tests. Review your calendar frequently so you know what important deadlines are coming up.
Carefully review your syllabus for each class
Do you know what a syllabus is? It’s a document that every one of your instructors will give you that explains the requirements and expectations for your classes, as well as a schedule of readings, assignments, and tests. Remember that calendar we just talked about? You can put all of the assignments from each syllabus on it at the beginning of classes so that you can beginning planning for the whole term.
Set routines for yourself
Doing things on a regular schedule can help you avoid procrastinating, or waiting to do important work until it is almost too late. Set aside regular times each day and each week for reading, working on assignments, and doing other work for your classes. You will become used to this schedule and form good study habits much more easily this way.
Break down big projects into smaller tasks
In college, you’ll have many long papers, presentations, and big projects to do. When you have to write a 15-page paper, think about what small steps you’ll need to take in order to complete the assignment. You need to decide what the topic will be, do your research (and make sure to note down where all of your information comes from so that you can properly cite all of your sources and avoid plaigarism!), and you can even divide the paper into different sections that you complete one at a time.
Ask for help!
If you find that you are having trouble managing your time or keeping up with your classes, we at Shoreline are here to help! You can always come to the International Education department in PUB 9302 to talk to an advisor or just to learn about all the resources that the college has to offer you, from tutoring in specific subjects to the Writing & Learning Studio, where you can get help with those big papers! The best part is that it’s all free!
Start Preparing Early! Trying to cram an entire quarter’s notes into your head the night before a test is not a good way to study. A final paper you wrote the day before it was due will not be your best work. Take time now to make a plan! Make lists of all the things you need to do and spread them out evenly over the days before finals. If your instructors haven’t already said what finals will be like, don’t be afraid to ask them. They’ll be glad you’re taking studying seriously.
Find the Right Environment to Study! How and where you study is important. Study groups and studying with friends can be helpful to keep each other on track. However, if you spend more time chatting than reviewing, try studying by yourself instead. Sometimes studying at home can be difficult because you don’t have a good study space or you end up doing something else in your room. Try going out to a library or a café where the only thing you have to do is study.
Use Your Technology Wisely! Your phone or laptop can be great tools, but it’s easy to end up browsing social media or watching a movie rather than studying. If you don’t need to be on the internet to do your studying, turn your wi-fi off and keep your phone in your bag or pocket.
Set Small Goals! Forty pages of notes, 8 chapters of reading, or a 10 page paper can be overwhelming. It’s important to set smaller, easier goals. It’s also important to take proper breaks when you reach those goals. Breaking it down into a step-by-step process, and giving yourself proper rest, will help you get through it!
Start Your Day Right! Don’t worry if you had to leave your home in a hurry, the International Peer Mentors will be hosting a Finals Breakfast Tuesday, December 12 through Thursday, December 14. Stop by the third floor of the PUB between 8:00am and 10:30am to pick up a cup of coffee, tea, cocoa, yogurt, pastries, or fruit! For more information, see the Finals Breakfast Facebook event page.
The Writing & Learning Studio is a treasure chest of knowledge tucked away on the third floor of the library. The staff’s mission is to assist all students in building writing and learning skills so they are successful in their academic pursuits. The studio is open for any student, you don’t have to be in a writing or English class to come in for assistance.
The Writing & Learning Studio is open six days a week. On Mondays and Tuesdays, it’s open from 9:00am to 4:00pm; on Wednesdays and Thursdays it’s open from 9:00am to 5:00pm; on Fridays it’s open from 9:00am to 3:00pm; and on Sundays it’s open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.
There are no appointments, so make sure you plan ahead! The studio is busy when college applications and big papers are due and the wait can be very long. If you don’t have time to stay and meet with someone or are just looking for some quick tips, there are many writing handouts you can take with you. Don’t wait until you feel like you’re struggling to come in and see someone at the Writing & Learning Studio. They are there to help you at any step of the way during the writing process.