Time management at university is one of the most important skills you will need. A fellow friend and student of mine once told me: ‘stay as busy as you possibly can, you will probably never have as much time and freedom as you have right now. You might as well make the most out of it’.
This is the quote I find myself leaning back to when my life seems too hectic to find the time to breath This is the quote I find myself leaning back to when my life seems too hectic to find the time to breath and reflect. There are so many things I want to have accomplished before I leave this university forever and the time is ticking. Busy is an understatement. I am constantly thinking of the next planned activity, next deadline or how I don’t spend enough time cooking proper food. So much toast…
But we are staying busy because we truly enjoy what we do. We enjoy being in the midst of it all, jumping on new opportunities and learning new skills. Sometimes we have to patiently look for these opportunities, sometimes they fall unexpectedly in our laps when we least expect it. And often we build up a big illusion in our heads that the things we really want are miles away from where we are right now. This illusion can create unnecessary stress and make us feel behind everyone else. This is where I found myself at the end of December. I had gone back home to celebrate Christmas with my family and when all the festivities were over and the new year awaited around the corner, I suddenly felt a great sense of anxiety. As I took a break from my hectic schedule at university, I found myself wondering my time management skills and how to achieve my goals after university. I am still figuring out where that is exactly, but I do know that I don’t want my time at the university to be wasted on things that I didn’t enjoy doing.
Study time management
In the midst of all the incredible things you can get involved in at university, you have to remind yourself of why you are there. In my case, that is to remind myself of setting aside time for school work. There are too many all-nighters on my conscience and although I am proud of the work I have produced, I know that is the result of my bad time management and prioritising other things before my coursework. Last term I was so excited to be back with the basketball team after many months in lockdown, I completely immersed myself in building new friendships with my teammates by going far away to play games and attending late practices several times a week. This took a lot of my time, especially since the away games usually require a whole day every week.
Time management and work
This term, my time has not only been dedicated to my favorite sport, I have also had to fit in an extra job between my seminars, which has limited my time even more. However, there is a way to solve this dilemma. Time management. If you remind yourself of how valuable your time is, you will more easily understand how to prioritize between activities. Perhaps you could attend fewer practices or work less hours, if that will help you prioritise the goals you set out to do. But it is far from easy. I would argue that time management is the most difficult part of university. You have all this time on your hands and it is your responsibility to manage this time wisely. This is the place where it is very easy to get lured into exciting things that risk you putting the school work aside. This is where you will learn how to manage your time and prioritise between activities.
It is great to have an extra job that can generate a small extra income, but it shouldn’t take up too much of your time, you’re still here to put your energy on your studies in order to get a more rewarding position later on. This is your opportunity to make use of all the support the university offers to grow into a resilient and reliable individual that can take on and finish new projects. Throughout my three years in Essex I have realised that my time here has not only given me a degree, but also inspired me to explore new areas of interests and helped me develop new skills. Without all my extra curricular activities, I would have not been able to do things down on my resumé, I would also not have met the people that have become my best friends.
All the best,