College life should be fun. But with a wealth of responsibilities, like working full- or part-time and possibly having to take care of your family along with studying, it can be hard to find the time and energy to enjoy your experience.
In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by your workload, it’s important to build a little bit of space into your schedule for fun activities and a little free time. And while finding that proper balance in your life may be hard, it is necessary to making your college experience a fruitful and successful one.
Dealing with the time crunch
College life can seem like an endless series of tasks and homework. But if you plan out your days and weeks ahead of time you should be able to find some time for yourself.
By using an old-fashioned daily planner, or a digital version you can usually download for free on your mobile device, you can set those to-dos out in order of immediacy and priority.1 If you can plan your schedule in advance, it will be easier to carve out blocks of time within your hectic schedule to enjoy your hobbies.
You can also try to set up a schedule where your priorities overlap. For instance, if you are pursuing a veterinary technician degree, and need to work full-time while you are completing your program, look for an administrative job at a veterinary clinic. That way you will earn money and learn more about your chosen profession at the same time.
In order to maximize what little free time you have, apply the same ideas of immediacy and priority to your leisure schedule as you do to your work and study schedules.2
What are your absolute favorite things to do? Make a list of them in order from most enjoyable to least enjoyable, then try to fit those activities and hobbies into your allotted free time in that order.
Obviously, the amount of free time you have will go a long way toward determining how you spend your it. So you’ll also want to plan your activities to coincide with your availability.
A free hour on a weeknight might give you a chance to catch up on your favorite TV show. Whereas, a few hours on the weekend would be a perfect opportunity to enjoy something more substantial, like spending time with family or playing sports.
1 Lucier, Kelci Lynn, “How to Plan Your Time in College,” About.com. http://collegelife.about.com/od/TimeManagement/a/How-To-Plan-Your-Time-In-College.htm
2 Dubner, Stephen J., “How to Get the Best out of College? Your Questions Answered,” Freakonomics.com, Nov. 28, 2012. http://freakonomics.com/2012/11/28/how-to-get-the-best-out-of-college-your-questions-answered/