Fitting Homework into a Busy Schedule  

Abigail Grant
Abby Grant

| 4 min read

Man looking at computer code on a laptop while working from his small office.
When I went away to college freshman year, I was amazed at the amount of opportunities and activities that were available to me. There are an infinite number of student organizations, professional fraternities, social groups and campus employers that students can participate in. As a college freshman, you also want to find a friend group that you can spend time with.
Because of the limitless opportunities, many college freshmen get overwhelmed when their schedules start to fill up with student activities that they forget that they also have homework to do. It can be difficult to manage your time when you want to succeed academically while still maintaining a social life. However, with a little help, managing your schedule and finding time to do homework is not impossible.
Here are four simple strategies on how to fit homework into your busy schedule:
Develop a study schedule: Having a schedule is the best way to prioritize homework. A schedule can be as simple as waking up and doing homework for two hours before class every day. Setting aside time where you are exclusively focused on homework is a great way to stay on top of your assignments and manage a full workload. This is especially important around midterms and finals. Developing a study schedule at the beginning of the semester can help set you up for success all school year long.
Work ahead: At the beginning of the semester, professors often ease students into the class by assigning them shorter readings and less assignments. However, it can be beneficial to use this time to get ahead on tougher assignments. If you develop your study schedule at the beginning of the semester, that time can be prioritized towards planning for a project or studying for an exam that is a few weeks away. By not procrastinating, your to-do list doesn’t pile up and lead to more stress and anxiety. Getting ahead of schedule during the week also leads to more free time on the weekends.
Prioritize academics: While student activities and social events are fun to attend, at the end of the day your academics are what is most important. Sometimes you may have to say no to certain events, or you may have to cancel on your friends if you have a big project coming up. It is OK and even healthy to create these boundaries if it means that you will have the time and energy to work on homework or study for an exam. As a college student it can be intimidating to tell your friends that you can’t hang out with them or you can’t attend an event, but prioritizing your classes and homework is more important.
Take a deep breath: College is overwhelming and managing a full course load on top of all of the exciting opportunities that college offers can be tough. However, prioritizing your mental wellbeing is most important. Sometimes you are behind in a class and have to skim a long reading instead of taking your normal detailed notes. Sometimes you have to ask a professor for an extension on an assignment. Sometimes classes are difficult and you have to go to office hours or get a tutor for extra help. All of these things are not the end of the world. Take a deep breath and know that everything is going to be okay.
College is where you learn how to live on your own. It’s the first time in your life where you have the opportunity to determine what you want to do and when you want to do it. This can be intimidating when there are so many options. However, prioritizing homework is a necessary decision when it comes to succeeding in college. As a student you just have to figure out what the best decisions are for you.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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