The rigors of college can be challenging enough when taking 12 to 15 credits a semester and not working at all. But when you add another 3-6 credits, along with not one, but two jobs, the daunting task only begins to grow into a beast that, at times, can seem unbeatable. Here's how I do it:
With the increased responsibility of 18 credits a semester and two jobs, at some point, something is bound to go wrong. The first couple of weeks after I adopted this hectic schedule were the toughest. In the first few weeks, the planning and time management skill required were troublesome, and almost all of me wanted to end the torture. I remember — in the beginning - constantly feeling like I didn’t have any free time, but as the weeks went on, I learned, adapted, and began to realize how much of my day I truly wasted before. My point is that it’s not easy, and, in the beginning, it’s even tougher, but with determination and the drive to succeed, soon the weeks will feel easier, and your time will begin to be used to its full potential.
Planning and Time Management
Like I said before, efficient planning and an increase in time management awareness are the two factors that allow me to continue to maintain such a heavy workload. When I plan for the days to come, these are the three things I look for:
This is pretty self-explanatory, but I look for any time throughout the day that I waste. This doesn’t mean I cut out my own free time, because those precious moments allow me to remain myself, but making sure I’m actually studying when I’m supposed to be instead of scrolling through social media or surfing the Web makes a big difference.
A More Efficient Route
Am I driving somewhere for something that can be done online? Is the order in which I am completing tasks the most efficient way to get things done? If not, it’s time for a change.
Order of Importance
What needs to be done first? What can wait if I can’t get around to completing it today? Prioritizing is key.
With such a demanding schedule, it can be easy to lose your sense of self, and to stop this from happening, I always plan for some period of free time throughout several parts of the day. For example, before going to bed is a great time for me, because at this time every day I can let my mind be free. These periods of “free time” also help remind me why I decided to take on such a challenging schedule.
Taking an 18-credit semester and working two jobs is not for everyone, but with a little time, planning, and determination, anyone can succeed and master such a daunting task. But if things just aren’t working out, or it’s getting too overwhelming, it’s okay to trim your schedule. It’s always better to complete one task perfectly than to complete two tasks poorly!