Dorm Living: How to Maintain and Balance Schedules

College can be a little overwhelming when it comes to balancing homework, classes, social activities, meals, working out, and making time for self care. If you also have a part-time job while being a student, it can make balancing your time just that much more difficult.

Here are a few tips for staying on top of your schedule and getting things done this semester!

1. Write Things Down: Create a To-Do List

Lists are so underrated. Even just a sticky note on your laptop or a pop-up reminder on your phone can immensely help with keeping a schedule.

On my Mac laptop, I downloaded the Sticky Note app. I can add notes to myself that stay on my desktop screen. I have one that lists my homework assignments and class due dates, and another one for today’s To-Do’s.

2. Keep a Written Calendar

Planning out your week with due dates, test dates, work shifts, and other activities can make you aware of how much free time you have available. Then you’ll be able to make time for certain projects or activities, while balancing the things you want to do with the things you need to do.

I bought a small paper calendar that goes on my wall. I can write in when I have a shift at work, when I have my next test or important due date, and when I have a free day to get things done or just enjoy time off.

White board calendars are also great, as long as it’s placed in a spot where it won’t get rubbed against and erased. My roommate had hers next to her bed and when someone would sit there, it would get erased. Maybe put it on the wall above your desk:)

3. Have a Study ‘Sesh’

Get out of your room!

Doing work in another space besides your own desk can be stimulate productivity. Ask your friend to go to the library with you. It’s a quiet enough space where you can’t sit there and chat the whole time, and the atmosphere may inspire some serious productivity.

Earbuds in, phone away.

4. Make Study Buddies

Words of encouragement can be the biggest form of motivation! If you and a roommate are both doing homework, keep an eye on each other. If they’re getting distracted on their phone or with other things, kindly remind them to get back to work.

It can be easy to get off track when you’re by yourself, bored or feeling unmotivated, but friends can help a lot with keeping you on track.

Bonus points if you’re studying for the same class together!

5. Give Yourself Time to Rest

Staying up late to cram in that last-minute studying will not help you for the test tomorrow.

In general, make sure to give yourself time off. Overworking can lead to exhaustion and hinder productivity. If you’re busy with work and studying on Tuesday, treat yourself to lunch and a coffee on Wednesday. Balance is key, and keeping your schedule reasonable is a must.

6. Make Weekend Plans Ahead

Carve out that homework time so that Sunday night doesn’t come around too quickly. If you save assignments for Sunday night, just make sure you give yourself enough time to limit unnecessary stress.

Plan something fun to do during the afternoons and nights that you have off, to give yourself something to look forward to. You deserve it after a week of hard work!

You’ve Got This

Most importantly, don’t overwork yourself! College can be difficult at times, but it’s worth the late nights, stress eating and little sleep for the memories, knowledge and lifelong friends.

Cheers to a new year!

Yours Truly,

Cat Taylor

Find more for incoming students in my Dorm Living Series:

Find the Ultimate Back-to-School Packing List for new and returning students!

Worried about roommates and fitting in at your school? No worries – check out The Roommate Scaries for tips.

Happy back to school season! 🙂

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