Hey, college girls! I see you over there with your cute comforters and your color-coordinating throw pillows. Your apartment looks like it popped straight off of your Pinterest board. You’ve got your monogrammed water bottle and a fresh haircut and GIRL, you are looking good.
I gotta tell you, though, you forgot something. Listen, it’s been a long summer, so I understand why you forgot. But between your morning latte from the campus coffee shop and your late night Netflix-and-Cookie-Dough-Roommate-Chill-Sesh you have this thing…
Class. Actually you probably have a few classes. Or maybe you’re insane like I was in college, and you have 21 credits of classes Every. Semester.
And also – there’s the sorority and the Honor Society and the campus ministry and the sports and the part-time job and the out-of-town boyfriend and the volunteering and the Internships and the fact that you actually would like to have a tiny fragment of a social life in between all of this STUFF.
It is HARD figuring out how to manage your time in college. You’re in this weird limbo where you’re an adult, and people expect you to act like one, but you’re also surrounded by opportunities to live it up like a kid – and people expect you to do that, too.
It may feel impossible to live “the best of both worlds”, but a little bit of intentional planning can go a long way. The secret to staying on top of your crazy college schedule is so easy: Tell yourself what you are going to do today BEFORE you start your day.
Want to start your semester off more organized? Get out that killer Sharpie pen and do these two things now. I mean it – before you even start on that first paper. N.O.W. You will have extra free time and better grades. Your mom will be proud of you. YOU will be proud of you. There is literally no reason not to do this.
- Start with a list with three columns: SCHOOLWORK, EXTRA-CURRICULARS, and LEISURE. Fill it up with every single thing you have to do in the next week. Name every class and homework assignment for the next week in the schoolwork column. List every meeting, assignment, or activity related to extracurriculars in that column, and lastly – list everything you would like to do for FUN in the leisure column.
- Schedule it. On paper. Hour by hour. Yes, I’m serious. Hour. By. Hour. This won’t take long at all and it will be so eye-opening about how much (or little) free time you really have in your day! I highly recommend starting with your LAST week rather than your upcoming week to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything. It will blow your minds, friends. For instance, you might find out that –
- You have plenty of downtime, but you’re not really using it wisely. Like, there actually wasn’t a need for you to stay up until 4am finishing that assignment last night when you had three completely unscheduled hours in the middle of the day!
- You probably shouldn’t take on yet another responsibility with your campus organization because the even the simple act of writing down your schedule is giving you a headache.
- You’re spending an awful lot of time that you can’t really account for. You FELT really busy yesterday, but you had 6 hours of free time. Where did it go?!? If this is the case, technology is often the culprit. Try to monitor the time you’re spending on your phone.
3. Keep it up! Keeping a weekly, hourly schedule is absolutely the BEST way to make sure you are maximizing your time. This way you know at the beginning of each day 1) what you have to do, 2) when you are going to do it, and 3) when your windows of unscheduled time are (HEYYY, impromptu coffee date!) so you can enjoy that time worry free.
A few weeks ago I did an Instagram giveaway and the winner was this FABULOUS college student named Ana. She’s in her senior year, she’s an RA, she’s planning to attend Law school in the fall, and her dream is to fight human trafficking. GET. IT. GIRL. So it’s safe to say this little lady has a lot going on right now. I created a custom weekly planner for her to help her stay on top of all of the fabulousness. Hers is already filled in with her class schedule and some other details, but the basic schedule is YOURS to download fo’ free. I’m also popping in a worksheet with columns for the pre-planning from Step 1.
Use it? Love it? Snap a photo and tag me on IG @bestlaidplansblog. It would make my day!
Plan on, friends!