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Improving Time-Management Skills for New College Students

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Are you starting college this year? If so, then you might be feeling understandably anxious about the idea of being a college student; how will you handle your course load and still find the time to have a social life? It all begins with learning how to manage your time. Read on to explore a few time-management college tips for first-year students that'll keep you on top of the game.

Start Using a Daily Planner

Okay, so it might sound silly, but having some sort of daily planner really is a must when you're in college. You're going to have homework and deadlines to remember for a number of different classes--on top of keeping up with any social or work-related obligations--so writing down important due dates, scheduled work times, and other important events in your planner can be a lifesaver.

Experiment to figure out which type of planner works best for you, such as a paper planner or an electronic one that you can access from your computer and/or smartphone.

Learn How to Prioritize

In college, there are going to be days when you simply don't have enough hours in the day to complete everything on your "to-do" list, no matter how much you plan ahead; when this inevitably occurs, having excellent prioritization skills will save the day.

For example, let's say you have a list for the day that consists of finishing a research paper that's due by midnight, meeting for dinner with a fellow classmate, and studying for an exam you have the next day. Your paper has the earliest deadline, so it deserves to be a top priority. Studying for an exam is also a priority, which means dinner with your friend might need to be postponed (unless your friend also happens to be in your exam class, in which case you could meet up to form a study group).

Keep Separate Binders for Each Class

Staying organized as a college student is a must if you want to have a chance at being successful in your classes. Specifically, it's recommended that you have completely separate binders, notebooks, and folders for each of your classes. This way, you'll never have to worry about misplacing your homework in the wrong folder or losing your notes.

If you do them majority of your school work electronically on a laptop of tablet, you'll still want to make sure that you keep your work for each class separated by folder.

Furthermore, be sure to keep a copy of your course syllabus in each corresponding folder; this way, you can always stay on top of approaching assignments, exams, and deadlines.

Schedule Time for Yourself

Last but not least, don't forget to make some time for yourself, family, and friends. The primary reason you're in college is to get an education and jump-start your path to a lifelong career, but this doesn't mean you should have to sacrifice your hobbies and the people you love along the way.

No matter how busy you get, be sure to schedule some time for yourself. Whether this means making time to call your parents back home once a week or signing up for a campus club, college isn't all about academics. It's also about "finding yourself," making lifelong friends, and trying new things.

The ability to time manage is a great skill to have not only in college, but throughout the rest of your life as well. As you prepare for your first day of classes, be sure to keep these tips in mind. You might be surprised at just how much of a difference they make.

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