The Spring semester has officially begun for colleges all across the country. Gone are the days of waking up at 3 PM after a night of hanging out with your friends only to binge watch the entirety of the latest Netflix show for the rest of the evening. Gone, gone, gone (at least for fifteen weeks or so). But this end also entails something else; responsibilities.
Over the break, you didn't have to worry about the upcoming quiz or getting enough sleep for an early day (also the reason why you miss it so much). You quite enjoyed being able to head out and play tennis or stay in and read whenever you liked. But now since school is here, there's a lot less time to do so if you want your marks to be high this semester.
Now I can't speak for everyone, but time-management has never particularly been one of my strengths. I prefer to take my time with whatever it is I'm doing, whether it's washing dishes with my headphones on or reading the latest draw off my bookshelf. I find that rushing something seriously takes away from my enjoyment of it. But this inadvertently means that I'm leaving less time for things that I need to do. Spending more time on things I like leaves less time for the things I need.
So what's the solution? How am I going to balance my many interests of exercise, reading, writing, gaming, among other things with studying, school, keeping my abode clean, feeding myself, and most importantly sleep? Everyone is different, but one thing I've found useful is to have a to-do list or a planner. It doesn't have to be a physical to-do list, but it can be a daily one (this especially helped me get things done over the summer). For example, you could say today you're going to get the tires rotated, buy/rent your books for class, or floss.
Another good way to balance out everything is to do a little bit of it every day. It does take a minute to get used to limiting yourself to only one episode a night, but giving yourself some time to cool off can be just as important as putting your brain through the wringer. Most days, I have around five or six hours of school with a proposed study time of three hours for five separate classes. That's an eight or nine hour workday in all respects. But also in that schedule is a block specifically designated to writing at least an hour every other day. I get my reading done before bed, exercise before classes at 10 AM, and play games on the weekend.
Now you don't have to be so structured to the point of literally planning out every minute of your day. Fifteen minutes for relaxing, two hours for calculus, thirty-seven minutes and forty-two seconds for lunch to account for the traffic on Thursdays... If you've looked in the mirror recently, you will notice that we are human beings and not made of nuts and bolts. In other words, we are not machines.
If you have a lot of things on your plate, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. But speaking from personal experience, a little bit of planning can go a long way. Just try it sometime, and you'll see what I mean.