As any college student knows, time management is one of the most important things to master in college. The transition from living at home to all of the responsibilities of being on your own make college and exciting and fun time, as well as stressful. When freshmen arrive on campus, they are bombarded with one message: get involved. Now getting involved is a great piece of advice, but be careful with how involved they actually get.
I have experiences with both sides of the spectrum. As a 1st semester freshman I really took my time transitioning and only took up a community service project which met once a week. I really enjoyed the experience but felt I had too much time on my hands and wanted to do more. Second semester I took on too many activities and was stressed out. On top of my community service project I joined a fraternity and got a job on campus. These activities both took around 10 hours a week. They definitely kept me busy but did not leave me with enough time to just hang out. I really had to be working on something at all times. It was a very draining semester.
That first year really gave me an idea of what is important and how much I can comfortably take on. This semester I challenged myself and took on three different jobs which combine for about 18 hours a week. Within my fraternity I am in charge of running our participation in homecoming (along with the sorority we are paired up with). This is a big responsibility and takes a lot of time between planning, budgeting, and just getting everything done. And most importantly is school. As an engineer, I can always count on plenty of frustrating..er…challanging work. My friends and I formed a great study group and without them I know I would be struggling with the work load.
The last thing that takes up a good portion of my time is just plain household things. Living off campus can be a challenge because the responsibility is all on me. Food, cleaning, dishes, laundry are all constantly stack up.
The way I combat being over stressed and constantly busy is to just have a positive outlook on life and use my time effectively. When I am in class I put 100% of my attention into it. That way I will not have to study as much later on in the day. If I have a break between something I use it to schedule activities and contact people to make sure everyone is getting their stuff done for homecoming. And when I come home I make sure to put some time aside for myself. Another way is to take those everyday tasks, like cooking, and enjoy them. Once you start enjoying the small things in life, you will not be as stressed as before. So choose carefully what you involve yourself with and try a few things before settling with a group or groups.