The university community is said to be a stimulating ground full of wonderful opportunities for both learning and social activities. Shuffling between courses and social life can be difficult especially for first year students.
Because the university environment provides so many choices, an ideal balance may be hard to find. The proper use of time, however, can help. Planning your time is like managing time in your schedule. If you don’t have any yet, you might want to consider having one for effective planning.
Why do you need to have a proper plan? University course schedule is very different from the secondary school you once attended and here at Skyline University Nigeria (SUN), there are lots of flexibility with your university courses. Unlike secondary schools, where you have a set of curriculum of classes and periods across all subjects, the university offers you the opportunity to pick a course that will determine the type of lecture you will specialize in. This is where your time management comes in.
Begin by filling in the small gaps in your schedule with other productive task that you can start and finish easily. For example, a 20 minutes to 1 hour free time slot might be good for reading text books, learning a career opportunity, solving assignment or doing chores.
Next, you can set aside one weekend for social activities. Then fill in the rest of the schedule with the rest of the study time needed for each course. A sample student task schedule will look like this:
DAILY TASK/PLANNED ACTION
S/N – 1
DAILY TASK – LECTURE
DESCRIPTION – GST 101
FREQUENCY – EVERY MONDAY
TIME – 8:00 – 10:00 AM
University students may schedule every available minute for studying. Usually, this leads to ineffective use of time. If you try to work longer hours, you may find yourself increasingly getting less done either as an undergraduate/post graduate university student.
There is no formula for shuffling your schedule between courses and social life. Being a student is a 4-6 years full-time job and your university courses will require your attention every day. While you may spend a weekend relaxing, make sure you devote the majority of every weekday to your studies. If you leave studying to the last minute, there will not be enough time to do a good job.
You can start with a list of unproductive things on which you spend time the most – I mean things like the clubbing hours, the time you spend partying, as well as eating, sleeping, chatting with friends, shopping, cleaning, and other non-events that take time.
The aforementioned unproductive activities may be reviewed to see if any of the items need to be grouped together. For example, you may have listed washing clothes and cleaning your room. These might be similar enough to be grouped together in your daily tasks.
Join a few clubs. Many of Nigerian universities clubs offer effective ways to enjoy yourself and get to know others with similar interests. For Skyline University Nigeria, our students are advised to join the Toast Masters Club. Whatever your passion, chances are that there is a university-sponsored group that shares it.
So, coordinate your free time with your friends. As you develop a group of friends, see if you can schedule free time together. This doesn’t mean taking time away from your studying, but rather shuffling your study time so you can enjoy your social life time.