It’s easy to be swept away by the amazing opportunities — and distractions — life as a college student has to offer. But failure to manage your time correctly can hurt your grades and make you both unhappy and overwhelmed.
We asked Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, the co-founder of the online community Her Campus and an author of “The Her Campus Guide to College Life,” for her tips on how to stay ahead of the curve.
Don’t be afraid to try things out: Getting involved on campus is a great way to make friends and build leadership skills. “You can kind of get your feet wet in an area to see if you like it before committing yourself to an internship,” Kaplan Lewis points out.
Plan Ahead: While you don’t necessarily have to hand in your homework in college the way you did in high school, it’s still important to keep up. “Even though maybe no one would know if you didn’t do it, it’s important to stay on top of it yourself,” she says. Staying on top of your work throughout the semester also means that you won’t have to cram during finals. “[All-nighters] are really just not the most effective way to retain information,” she explains.
Don’t multitask: It may seem like there are never enough hours in a day, but you are really best off doing one thing at a time. “Don’t be reading a textbook, watching ‘Scandal’ and talking to friends in your room at the same time,” she says. “You’re just wasting a lot of time and not getting anything done.”
Get a study buddy: “Find someone in your class that you enjoy spending time with outside of class and also who seems like-minded to you in terms of homework,” she says. Having someone that can keep you honest and accountable in terms of deadlines can be a lifesaver as far as studying goes. Kaplan Lewis also recommends you and your study partner work together to create study guides before major exams.
Ask for help: “Most professors offer office hours where you can go with questions if you don’t understand the material or just want to learn more about it,” she says. Schools also typically offer tutoring, which you should look into. Utilizing all the resources at your school will make you feel more engaged and more productive.