Today@Sam Article

Junior Introduces 'College 101' Series By Exploring Time Management

April 1, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Dawine Bergeron

Dawine Bergeron is a junior mass communication major at Sam Houston State University, who is introducing an “everyday life” series of articles she will write for Today@Sam to help students find solutions to various problems they may be faced with. Articles will be released monthly and will cover a range of topics, from food to health and wellness to budgeting.

Dawine Bergeron With only five weeks left of the spring semester, Sam Houston State University students will begin thinking about final projects and papers for their classes. Since many of these will be due at the same time—around finals week—the topic of time management is something students should start thinking about. 

“Cengage Learning”—an educational content, technology and services company—conducted a survey of 3,004 students and discovered that 13 percent said they never struggle with time management, 9 percent said they always struggle, and 78 percent said they struggle sometimes.

When I began attending SHSU in the fall of 2014, I struggled terribly with managing my time. I soon realized that I was no longer on the schedule of a high school student where everything was virtually planned out for me.

With student organizations, my job, a varying class schedule and free time, I couldn’t keep up with everything. After my first semester, I noticed that I was stretching myself too thin.

The first thing I learned to do was prioritize. I had joined so many organizations (SHSU has more than 200 student organizations on campus to choose from) that the meeting times began to overlap, and I didn’t have much time to study, and all the time I spent with those groups outside of class affected by ability to pay attention to my classes.

I took my first step to prioritizing by dropping the organizations that weren’t really important (I chose to continue with a college support organization and my religious organization) or were too time consuming. If I had a test or an assignment coming up, I would make note of it.

A good way to prioritize is to make a list of every essential, important and optional priority. An essential priority is something such as your health. Important priorities are things such as study time, homework time, and work. An optional priority is something you do for personal fulfillment.

One of the biggest factors that also plays a major role in time management is procrastination. I spent many late nights and, sometimes, early mornings finishing assignments that I waited to complete until the night before it was due or had just completely forgotten about.

This is why it’s important to read the syllabus and course calendar, if provided, for every course you take, as well as keep a planner. Even if the assignment is small and can be completed in a short amount of time, it’s still best to complete it ahead of time or as soon as you receive it so when you receive more coursework, you won’t have to struggle to finish them all by the due date.

Poor time management skills, procrastination, and not prioritizing can affect your sleep by causing you to stay up late and miss out on sleep. According to a research study conducted by Brown University, 73 percent of students were found to have sleep problems. 

“The deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.,” said neuroscientist Kulreet Chaudhary. “After 2 a.m., your sleep becomes more superficial. If your body is deprived of regenerative sleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., you may still feel fatigued when you wake up in the morning.” 

The most important thing to remember is to plan time to relax.

Although I wanted to make sure that I managed my time well and kept up with assignments, I realized it was OK to take time off to myself every now and then. 

I often set aside a time where I have no work, no meetings or anything else to do and wind down.

SHSU offers resources that can help you deal with time management and cope with the stress related to procrastination. The Student Advising and Mentoring Center offers study skills workshops that include lessons on time management, and the SHSU Counseling Center provides students with an outlet to vent their frustrations.

For more information on these resources, visit the SHSU SAM Center website at https://www.shsu.edu/centers/sam-center/ or contact them at samcenter@shsu.edu; or visit the Counseling Center website at https://www.shsu.edu/dept/counseling/ or contact them at 936.294.1720.

 

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