How to manage your schoolwork while in college

Properly managing your schoolwork is key to finding success in college.For college students, finding effective ways to manage the workload is essential to a successful academic career. And that sentiment rings especially true for students who have added pressures outside school, like jobs or family responsibilities.

Here are some schoolwork management tips that can help you reach your utmost potential in college:

Give yourself a reasonable workload

There is always the desire to complete a degree as soon as possible, especially if you’re working toward something like a medical assisting diploma or vet technician certification while also working full-time or taking care of children. But loading homework on top of those responsibilities is more likely to become self-defeating than provide a road to early graduation.

Be realistic about what you can accomplish, and don’t take on more than you will reasonably be able to handle.1

Don’t be afraid to modify your schedule

As you were planning out your class schedule for the semester, you may have thought you’d found a perfect balance between all of your obligations. Then, once classes started, you find that a couple of your professors require more work than you can manage.

Don’t be afraid to put one of your courses off – whether it be one of those tougher classes, or another one that isn’t as intensive – until the next semester. It may take you a little longer to earn your degree, but you will likely finish school having learned more and with a higher grade point average than if you tried to power through an overwhelming workload.

Fill out a calendar

One of the greatest obstacles to handling the stresses of college is a lack of planning. Things start flying at you rapidly, and pretty soon you’re just trying to keep your head above water.

Planning ahead – by filling out a monthly calendar, for instance2 – is one way to get out in front of the work that will soon be at your doorstep. There are always going to be unforeseen circumstances that arise as the semester progresses, but by planning things out in advance as much as you possibly can, you can mitigate some of that future pressure.

Ask for help

This piece of advise is simple, yet college students are often afraid to follow it. Asking for help, whether it be from friends, family, classmates, professors or from your school’s administrative services departments, is one of the best things you can do to ensure your own success.

1 Thomas, Eric, “Time Management for College Students,” Collegeprepu.com, March 27, 2012. http://collegeprepu.com/time-management-for-college-students/
2 Driscoll, Emily, “Balancing Act: Tips for College Students to Best Manage Their Time,” Fox Business, Aug. 28, 2013. http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/08/28/balancing-act-tips-for-college-students-to-best-manage-their-time/