October 12th, 2021
As we all know, the simple responsibility of being a student can be fairly stressful from time to time. Particularly for those of us in college, it can be overwhelming transitioning from high school. I'm currently a junior here at Illinois State University, so here's all the advice I've gathered throughout my experience so far.
Use A Planner
In my opinion this applies to any student. I'd hope that this is something on your school supply shopping list every year because it's definitely on mine. A planner is essential for time management.
I'm more of a visual learner so I prefer to have a physical planner that I can carry around with me during the day and reference as needed. This is something I use primarily to write down assignments and keep track of due dates for classes. Every Sunday, I look through the syllabus for each class and write down what I have to do for the week. Anything from reading a chapter to an exam will be recorded so I can focus on taking it day-by-day.
It's important to keep track of the who, what, when, where, why, and how. No matter how much you think you'll remember it, chances are you'll probably end up forgetting at least one thing. Save yourself the trouble and write it down.
Make A Schedule
The second most important thing next to a planner is a schedule. Academic classes are already going to be set in stone. Something I've been using since freshman year is a website called Free College Schedule Maker. This is such a helpful resource because of how easy it is to personalize. I highly suggest checking it out, https://www.freecollegeschedulemaker.com.
In contrast to this I also like to use Google Calendar. This is really convenient, especially because of how easily accessible it is. Since I'm involved in three student organizations, I use Google Calendar to sort out all the dates/times for various events. The cool thing about Google Calendar is that you can share it with others. It's just as easy as sharing a Google Doc for a group project.
These are tools I've been using for several years now and I can definitely say that without them I'd be a mess. I'm naturally an organized person so this makes it all the more easy.
Give Yourself Free Time
Now that you have a better idea of time management/organization, remembering to give yourself free time is something to keep in mind. It's just as important as being caught up with your academics and other activities. I think that everyone could use at least an hour to relax so you don't get burnt out after an exhausting day. We could all use that grace period for self-care.
Straighten Out Your Priorities
I know how tempting it is to take on every opportunity that's presented to you. I'll often give in and stop what I'm doing to spend time with my friends. No matter how small or big the occasion, I fall victim to FOMO (fear of missing out). Learning to say "no" is something I've been working on improving, and I can definitely say I'm getting better at it. Sometimes it sucks when everyone else is there except you, but it pays off in the long run when you reserve time for what's more important.
As a student, time management is something we learn to develop over time. I've had my fair share of practice and still struggle with it here and there, nobody's perfect. Do your best to stay organized but don't work yourself too hard. Remember not to be too lenient or you'll never get anything done. It's all about maintaining a healthy balance.
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.