So lately everyone has been asking me how I balance being a full time student with 17 credits (and homework), volunteering as a teacher assistant, a job, being in 7 organizations (5/7 in leadership roles), and sleeping (and eating).
First of all, my lifestyle is NOT for the weak at heart or lazy, it takes A LOT of dedication and time management. It is not easy being great, and being great is worth it, at least to me. So here is what I do every semester, week, and day to manage my time. I use my iPhone (iPad and MacBook Pro as well), but you could use any device with a calendar. Before I was team iPhone, I used Google calendar, and basically they have the same operating system.
- Before the semester starts, you should already have the times of your classes what time they begin and end. So I put in those dates and times in my phone. I set each class as a repeating event, until the semester ends. This helps so you don’t have to physically add in every class that would be a waste of time. Next I add in other time obligations. For me that includes church on Sundays, Bible Study, organization meetings that are every week, work, and volunteering to different organizations. After that your calendar should look like you have a life! Which is always really cool!
- Once the semester starts, you will have other time obligations. As soon as I know about a meeting, I add it to my calendar, no matter how far in advance it is. This helps keeps your life organization, and you wont ever forget a meeting. If you are of the forgetful variety, be sure to set reminder alerts for the events to ensure that you will not forget anything.
- I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you invest in some type of agenda, planner, notebook for assignments, app on your phone, or something to keep up with your assignments. Trying to remember them all in your head is not wise, because there is so much else going on in your life; it is only a matter of time before you forget something. I personally do really well with list, because my mother raised my brother and I to use list. I recently invested in a journal type notebook (because my planner was ruined in the rain), which everyday I write my assignments in, like a forever to-do list. It works very well for me. I also have used the iStudiez Pro app, which is really good and easy to use. I prefer a planner, but I really love my new journal thing.
- Once you receive your syllabuses for class highlight on the syllabus important due dates, tests and anything that is of importance. I would also add tests and class events to your calendar; just so that you know far in advance that it is coming up. With my iPhone, I put tests in different color, than regular events. Do this for EVERY class!
- Free days = PRODUCTIVE DAYS! I use all of my free days very wisely. For example on Tuesdays and Thursdays I only have one class, in the middle of the day. So I put homework time during the day (Between 9am – 7pm), so I am not doing homework all night. This ensures that assignments will get done.
- Speaking of, being extremely busy requires A LOT of rest. I truly believe that I would not get through every day without getting the amount of rest that I do. I am asleep by 12am/12:30am every night. Sleep is very important! Do not forgot to rest, and eat. I know I have problems with forgetting to eat, because my schedule is so busy. I have started planning times for me to eat, which seems even stupid for me to have to do, but otherwise I don’t eat sometimes.
- LEARN TO SAY NO! You are not superwoman/superman! You only have 24 hours in one day! There is no possible way to do everything, but if you prioritize and get done the things that need to be done first, everything will work out. I am still learning this lesson everyday. But I do believe that 24 hours is more than enough time to get done, everything that needs to be done. I mean we have the same 24 hours that Beyoncé has and as long as they are spent wisely and effectively.
- Plan time to relax and have some fun! Burning out is very real, and happens every day to people, including myself (especially during this time of midterms, spring break is soooo close!). I take any time I can possible to relax and recuperate, because our bodies are not used to being on the go, all the time, so we have to give them time to adjust and get used to this new lifestyle. I know I said free days are productive days, but be sure to take time to take care of you. My entire spring break is dedicated to myself. I am cutting off my phone, staying off of social media, sleeping in, being lazy, and having fun, because I deserve it, and you do too!
I hope this helps! Please let me know if you need more in-depth help! I love helping. Also I have below pictures of my journal thing and calendar!
Keep it Classy,