Are you struggling to manage multiple classes and unsure what you can do to get on track? Are you looking for organization strategies for college students? You are in the right place if you can answer yes to either of these questions.
The transition from high school to college can be hard for several reasons. Not only are you forced to deal with the transition to adulthood, but you must also begin to self-manage your life. Therefore, understanding how to manage time as a student is essential, and we will help you do just that.
Keep reading for tips on how to manage balancing classes and some information on ways to stay organized and productive.
How Many Classes Are Too Many in College?
Before you start being an overachiever, understand the baseline for being a full-time or part-time student. Colleges will often offer sample schedules to help you understand how many credits, at minimum, are needed to maintain student status and what is manageable for your major. Typically, a part-time student is enrolled in fewer classes and will take longer to receive their degree. This will generally be less than 12 credit hours.
For full-time students, if your institution doesn’t have a maximum, it is up to you to determine how many classes are too many. There are several things you should take into account when creating your schedule. Use the questions below to gauge how many may be right for you.
- Are you working in addition to taking classes?
- How rigorous are the classes?
- How much time will you have for homework or even a social life?
- How many credits do I need to graduate?
- How long will it take me to get to my classes?
The questions listed allow you to think about how much time you really have, no matter how quickly you may be trying to graduate. Time management is an important skill for college students to practice and master.
Why is Time Management Important for College Students?
As a college student, everything will be competing for your attention regardless of whether you are living on or off campus. Unlike high school, your classes are no longer compartmentalized to a set time of the day. One day, you may have three classes; the next, you may have none. It would be best to learn how to make time for your classes, a job, a social life, your family, and even your mental health. In reality, several things may be competing for a slice of your time; having a system that helps you do it all is where time management comes in.
Never underestimate the importance of time management for students. There are several benefits to finding great ways to manage your time. This includes increased productivity, reduced stress and even increased academic performance.
7 Practical Tips for Managing Multiple College Classes Effectively
Managing your classes doesn’t have to be stressful. You can do several little things throughout the year, even when creating your schedule, to ensure you are productive and efficient when dealing with courses, exams, and homework.
Choose Your Schedule Timing Wisely
A game plan for your semester is essential to managing multiple classes. Do not pick classes to be in the same class as your friends. Think about what times of day you thrice best as the first rule of thumb. If you know you do better with morning classes, base your schedule around getting your most important classes out of the way earlier. However, if you are someone who does not wake up before 11 AM, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to pick an 8 AM class.
You should pick your days of the week just the same. If you plan on having a job, spacing your classes throughout the week could be a hard schedule to work around. Instead, condense your classes down to only certain days of the week. This leaves your other days free for social activities or even a job.
Create a Network of Students in Your Classes
Having a group of students with whom you can study, trade notes with, and even tutor is a great way to ensure everyone is passing their courses and a great way to make friends. Often, if these are your major classes, these will also be the same students you can expect in some of your other classes. College takes a village, and starting one is never too late. This can be a great help if you miss class or need someone to drop your homework off.
Don’t Overexert Yourself; Be Realistic
You need to remember that you are human, and regardless of what you must do, you need rest to do well. Make sure you save some time in your week for self-care. Though you may only have a class twice a week, think about the workload that may come with it. For example, if you are a computer science major, your courses maybe two days a week, but you will have several programs due and be expected to learn a new programming language.
Don’t Always Sleep In
Just because you can sleep in doesn’t mean you should. It only means you are losing a good portion of the day to finish things. Regardless of If you have class or not, get in the habit of waking up earlier. This time can be used for several things aside from homework. This can mean workouts, time for self-care or even employment.
Getting organized is a game changer if you are wondering how to balance college work. Regardless of whether you do so in a traditional paper planner or with apps like Notion or Evernote, create a system to help manage your life. Having a planner and writing down all the things you have to remember or even making to-do lists are great ways to keep track of tasks for multiple classes. Many students have found that hourly planners are a great way to keep track of their days. Use your calendar to manage assignments, major projects and exams. This way, you have a clear view of what is to come.
It is important to remember that you won’t be able to party every night. Though you may feel like you are missing out on something big when you’re a freshman, you don’t want to regret it when you’re a senior. Don’t be afraid to miss a social event. There will always be something going on; sometimes, that assignment or paper due by midnight is far more important than you think.
Research Your Courses and Professors
In college, never sign up for a class without researching your professors. Choosing a bad professor can make or break your semester. Websites like RateMyProfessors.com or RateYourProf.com are great ways for first-year students to see ratings about potential professors from other students. Ask prior students about their experience to get a full picture of what to expect if you can. If your professor has a website, many will post their course syllabi online. Use this as a resource for getting information as well.
How to Stay Organized and Avoid Procrastination?
Staying organized and staying on top of your schoolwork are two of the most important things you can do for yourself, regardless of whether you have three or six classes. Use the time management tips for college students below to kick-start your college journey.
- Digitize Your Notes – Having digital notes is a great way to study in multiple places. You no longer have to worry about bringing the wrong notebook or losing out on valuable study time. You can also share them with others. Collaborative note-taking via Google is a great way to share notes with friends and to ensure no one missed anything.
- Plan your week – Planning your week every Sunday is a great way to understand what you have ahead of you. This means sitting down and writing out a schedule, planning for different events and potentially planning meals well. This is a great way to take the guesswork out of your week.
- Give yourself reminders – Having a whiteboard or corkboard around the room is a great way to give yourself visual reminders for due tasks and assignments. Whiteboards are a great place to put daily to-do lists and erase things once they are complete.
- Break down your tasks – If you know you have a lot to do, break your work down into manageable chunks. This allows you to plan when it can get done and better understand how long it will take to complete. If you spread the activity over multiple days or weeks, you won’t have to worry about cramming at the last minute.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Balance Multiple Classes in College?
We hope you have a better understanding of how to balance multiple classes in college. You can do several things to ensure your workload is manageable, starting when you first pick your classes. Pick your classes with your lifestyle and schedule in mind; 8 AM courses are not for the weak.
Picking a schedule that you can work with is only half the battle. Staying organized and avoiding procrastination are the keys to ensuring success. Doing things like creating a calendar at the beginning of the semester and planning your life weekly can help you stay on top of your school work and have a social life.