This is my second Ninth Week. Classes are wrapping up, finals are due in two weeks, and, more importantly, spring break is two weeks away. This quarter I feel more prepared for the notoriously stressful two weeks ahead of me, although I have a more difficult schedule than fall quarter. If I’ve learned anything from my two quarters at K, it is that time management is the key to enjoying your life here. It can be hard to manage classes, homework, extra-curriculars, socializing, and keeping yourself healthy (both mentally and physically), but once you master how to keep track of your schedule and to keep yourself organized, it becomes much easier.
Personally, I have always been fairly organized: I live by my planner and I think iCal is the coolest development of my adolescence. The trick to time management is simple: write it down, plan it out, and actually follow through. The first and second components are obviously easier than mustering the willpower to do the third, but it is definitely worth it.
First, you have to write stuff down. You may think you can remember what assignment is due for each class and when, but after a long day of classes, work, and clubs, you can forget your own name. Invest in a planner that you like: maybe one that has quotes to keep you inspired, or pictures of cats to keep you sane. Find one that works for you and keep it on you at all times. Jot down important deadlines, tips from professors, and times for office hours. Keep all of your reminders and to-do lists in one place so you never have to dig through your notes for important dates.
Second, plan your time around what you have to get done, what you want to get done, and what would be nice to get done. This means figuring out how long an assignment is going to take you and when you have the time to do it. Plan a few breaks to scroll through funny pictures or take a walk around campus between assignments. Plan to get things done before the night it is actually due.
Lastly, and the most difficult, actually do it. Give yourself an incentive: promise yourself a trip to Biggby, a movie in your bed, a nice nap, anything. But don’t do it until after you finish what you have planned. Find a quiet table in the library, put on some white noise, and get it done. After you do that, you will never feel guilty about hanging out with friends instead of working on something: you already have it done. Your ninth week, and every other week, will be manageable, not stressful, and you will be ready to enjoy your spring break.