When I started university I remember someone telling me as this quasi-joke (I don’t really know what it was intended to be), “You have to choose 2 of the 3, sleep, friends, or good grades, because you’ll never have time for all 3.” At the time I remember responding with, “well, I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” even though my bed is my favorite place to be. I remember this feeling of horror for the months to come, thinking that university was going to be this huge time management challenge that I was going to lose.
What I’ve learned since graduating is that if you ever have to make that choice, you’re doing something wrong. You can have all three, and you need to balance them out to have a rewarding and wonderful experience. Yes, I may have pulled an all-nighter, and yes, I definitely have missed out on some social gatherings because I had to study, but all of those instances could have been avoided if I managed my time better and planned ahead.
Here are 4 tips on how to avoid living the “2 out of 3” myth:
1. Planning & Organizing
Planning out my study schedule and plugging all of my assignments into an app, or writing them in a planner seemed like a chore at first, but now I get a weird sense of satisfaction from it. Find ways to plan that keep you on track, and that will remind you when you have assignments, exams, or events coming up so they don’t sneak up on you.
2. Try To Study In Between Classes
I don’t know how many days I’ve spent sitting on Facebook or YouTube when I had 1-2 hours in between classes. Those small slivers of time could save you on a Friday or Saturday night when you have to rush to finish something. In my arts classes, this was a great time to keep up to date on
readings so I didn’t have to cram later. In math courses I found in between classes was a great time to get started on assignments or doing practice problems. Plus, working on the assignments before or after class can really keep you informed on what material you do and don’t understand.
3. Don’t Leave Things Until The Last Minute
I know this seems like a given, but if you have 4 finals in a row, or a week of major assignments, you might forget about the last one, or push it until the end because you think you have more time. This is why planning your study schedule is so important.
4. Keep The Big Picture In Mind
Remember to take care of yourself because nothing’s worse than studying your heart out and then getting sick at the time of the exam. Taking care of yourself extends beyond simply getting enough sleep or eating well, it also means that you should take time to relax and do things you enjoy.
“Moderation in all things, especially moderation.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson