Managing your time in college

Every student has the same 24 hours in a day, but that is where the similarities end. Students may have jobs, families, hobbies, volunteering, sports, or other time commitments that they are managing alongside their academics.

It is important to develop a self management system as a student that helps you plan and be aware of how you spend your time. 

A general guideline is that you should budget 2-3 hours per credit per week to complete readings and assignments for your courses. A full time student taking 12-15 credits would expect to be in class 12-15 hours per week and then working on classes an additional 30-40 hours each week.  Being a full-time student is a similar time commitment to a full-time job!

Students use a variety of methods to manage the time available. If you do not have a method that works for you, talk with your advisor or try one of these common strategies:

  • paper planner / calendar
  • smartphone calendar app
  • to-do lists (paper or digital)
  • post-it notes
  • whiteboard / whiteboard calendar

Whatever method you choose make sure it helps you track both short-term needs (example, read Ch 1 this week) and long-term projects or presentations that you may need to start on days or weeks before they are due.