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Mesha's Declassified Freshmen Survival Guide: Managing time balances college must-dos

Sleep, study, socialize — pick two. That’s what is said about college and how you are forced to divide your time. Making it easier to know how to manage what you do in the seemingly short 24-hour day, 168-hour week is key to surviving college.

First, limit the distractions. This is all about self-motivation and will power. Turn off the television and do something you need to finish.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to remove yourself from your room, make the journey through the cold and study in the library where there are limited distractions. Once you finally focus on your work, you might get more accomplished than you originally planned.

Figure out what study habits work for you. Everyone studies and learns in different ways and at a different pace. Studying properly will help make the most efficient use out of your time. Flash cards for some are helpful where as just re-reading notes are better for others.

If you really can’t figure out the best study techniques, talk to your professor during their office hours. They might be willing to help you. Stop wasting time using study techniques that only get you a C-.  

Do something productive during your downtime. Having your fun on Saturday means it is time to buckle down and do the things that need completing on Sunday.

You don’t necessarily need to wake up at 8 a.m., but when you wake up, get some of your untouched homework finished. The playoffs and the Super Bowl are past, so now there’s no excuse for you to not do anything on Sunday afternoons.

Learn to say “no.” Signing up to do everything someone asks will leave you with no time at all. If you overload your schedule with too many extra hours at work, too many student organizations or being with your friends every time they ask you to do something, you will find yourself lacking in time to maintain your GPA.

Saying “no” to things that you not only don’t have time for but also don’t enjoy doing will leave you ready to do the things you need and want to do.

Allow for fun and relaxation. You do not have to be doing something every minute of every day. Once you have everything that you need to get done completed, you deserve a reward. Have a movie night with your friends or go to a hockey game.

If you don’t want to wait until everything is completed, come up with a system where every time you complete something off your to-do list, you get 15 minutes of something that you want to do. Whether it’s surfing the Internet or watching a little television, just be sure you don’t get too distracted and get back to work.

Learning how to manage your time will make it so you don’t have to choose only two between sleeping, studying and socializing.

As soon as you make it so that you can have all three options, you will have a great balance for your college career.


Mesha Baylis-Blalock is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Trade studying tips with Mesha at

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