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Many of my students who succeeded academically were the ones who possessed determination, commitment, and an enthusiasm to learn.  These students were always prepared for class, set specific goals for themselves and often volunteered for leadership positions in the department. 

However, most high schools do not prepare students for the sudden independence thrust on them let alone how to manage time or themselves. Struggling to juggle classes, extra-curricular activities, part-time jobs, studying and meeting new friends, freshmen students can be easily overwhelmed by their new responsibilities.

Developing these crucial self-management skills in their college career will further their success in the workforce.

So as a student, what can you do?

1. Set Goals and Prioritize

Set goals for each day and know what you want to accomplish by the end of the week, and ultimately by the end of your term. Prioritize the important tasks and try to accomplish the most difficult one first. If you find yourself trapped in a social media daze, consider a time log if necessary. The average college student spends 14 to 27 hours a week on social media alone.

2. Checklists 

Checklists help you accomplish your goals. In your datebook, have everything you wish to tackle and cross them off as you do them. At the end of the day, evaluate your list. Were you able to accomplish everything?  If you didn’t, why not? Was your time management ineffective? 

3. Don’t Procrastinate

Don’t assume you have time to finish a paper at the last minute. Class assignments, especially during your freshman year, can take longer than most high school assignments. Schedule 2 hours of study for every hour in class and plan accordingly. Know what distracts you and avoid it. Only reward yourself once you’ve finished your assignment.

4. Develop Self Awareness

As you build your self-management skills, become aware at what distracts you or stops you from finishing a paper. Is it the latest football game? Is it TikTok? Do you avoid work by hanging out with your friends? When do you have more concentration? Morning or night? Do you have an afternoon slump where it is useless to do any work? Do you constantly make excuses for yourself?

Examine your answers carefully and develop a study/work environment that suits your temperament. 

Being organized, managing yourself and your time are not only crucial for college but also for your career. These soft skills help you remain focused on your goals even when life becomes difficult, helping you to be productive and successful.