This post is part of an ongoing blog series from Trevecca’s SWEET (Student Wellness Education and Engagement at Trevecca) team. Every other Wednesday for the next few weeks, they’ll be offering up wellness tips to help our traditional undergraduate students adjust to being Back Home to the Hill.
One of the biggest challenges you may be facing right now is learning to manage your time effectively. For incoming students coming to Trevecca from high school, that means learning how to manage your time without parent-enforced schedules. For those coming back to the Hill this fall, you’re adjusting to the new 7-7 model. Although students have fewer classes at a time, you’ll also need to focus to finish your coursework in a seven-week timeframe.
Here are a few important suggestions for managing and prioritizing your time during your first seven weeks of classes!
- Use a calendar or planner. Paper or electronic? Either are fine, but be consistent! Take some time now to write out all of your tests, projects, papers and other assignments in your planner. We have included a “semester-at-a-glance” calendar with this blog post as an option as well! Putting all of your assignments into chronological order within the first few weeks of school will help you see where your busy weeks lie and prioritize classes that need the most attention during the seven-week model.
- Identify your most efficient study time. Everyone experiences high and low periods of attention. For example, many of us experience an “afternoon slump” right after lunchtime when it is difficult to concentrate. This is not a good time to study, as you won’t retain much information. Try instead to study early in the morning when you are more attentive, or, if you’re more of a night person, finish your schoolwork before you move on to any of your other evening activities.
- Don’t try to study everything at once. Don’t try to memorize an entire chapter’s worth of information in one sitting. Instead, study in shorter time blocks (20-30 minutes) and take short breaks between (5-10 minutes). This can prevent study fatigue and can enhance concentration. It’s a lot easier to cut out distractions for 20-30 minutes than 4-5 hours.
- Environment is important. Studying in your bed while watching TV isn’t an effective way to study and isn’t good for your sleep health. Instead, find an environment that allows you the most focus and least distractions. This could be an empty, quiet corner of the library. Or if you’re someone who prefers a little white noise and sunshine, find an outdoor seating area. Also, make sure you are prepared and have all the materials you need to study (such as pencils, lecture notes, textbox, and so forth).
- Budget in time for essentials. Sleep is often the first essential that students compromise in order to study. Sacrificing sleep for study time won’t help in the long run because your study time will be less effective if you’re tired! Also, it’s difficult to study on an empty stomach. Make sure you are eating and sleeping to ensure you are retaining the information you’re learning!
- Add studying into your already established routines. Bring your chemistry notes while waiting for your clothes to finish their laundry cycle. Review your psychology flashcards while waiting in line for food or in the ten minutes between classes. Making the most of short intervals of time throughout the day will add up and pay off in the long run.
From the Counseling Center to Academic Services, Trevecca has a number of resources designed to help you excel this semester.