College is an extremely hard time of your life. It is a completely new experience and it is all about figuring things out. How to find your classes on your own, how to talk to people without directly resorting to your parents, and even money management.

However, for me, the most difficult aspect of college is time management. This may sound cliché, however, it is cliché because of how universally known it is. Time management encompasses everything. For me, time management is essentially how you decide to live your life.

I am a die-hard procrastinator. This involves waiting until the last minute, literally 11:59 for a 12:00 deadline, scrolling through Facebook for hours, etc. I have known throughout my high school and college career how unhealthy this practice is. More often then not I would say I would be doing homework days before the deadline, but in actuality, I would be sitting there at my desk distracted with a movie and still getting the project in right at the deadline.

This was not healthy because I took hours out of my day doing essentially nothing and pushing away the things that I may have actually wanted to do. For example, hanging with friends, going out on a Friday night, discovering new restaurants etc. The main thing that suffered for me was my actual health.

I became a nocturnal animal who couldn’t keep her hands off the snacks in order to stay awake. Throughout my freshman year at college and most of my sophomore year, my social life was severely suffering due to my procrastination.

Have you ever had a moment of clarity? For me, it came within the past two weeks. I have recently begun to take two summer courses at my university. With this, it was a less but more intense workload. Very specific deadlines with more content, but fewer classes.

Meaning that I have had a lot more time for myself. It’s a magical thing when you take a moment to analyze yourself and what you actually want. I began to start my work earlier and finish it well before the deadlines, which has given me a lot more time to do the things that I actually want to do.

One of the biggest changes that I have incorporated into my schedule has been exercise. It has always been a passion of mine that I have never been able to pursue due to my very erratic schedule. Now I workout five times a week guilt free. I not only go to the gym but I also swim and do kickboxing.

The world is an amazing place when you give yourself something to love separate from the things you believe that you have to do. I feel better both physically and mentally when I don’t let myself wander with the things I’m forced to do and give more time to the things I want to do.

College is a rough place to be when you don’t have something to separate your mind from your schoolwork. So with that I challenge you to go out and find something that you love to do and incorporate it into your daily schedule so college life isn’t just textbooks and studying anymore.