Mismatched socks, breakfast in hand and bed-head tells everyone when someone is late to class. Some BYU students are not always properly prepared in order to make it to class on time every day.
Students have a difficult time keeping up with the fast pace of the college lifestyle. They rush all day and try to defeat mounds of homework at night, while still trying to maintain a social life. With the addition of work schedules and extracurriculars, time becomes a major obstacle, and students must prioritize.
Everyone has different priorities, but prioritizing is a necessary step in time management. Some students place socializing above homework, while others see studying as the most important use of their time.
Tony Pratt, a time management workshop instructor for the BYU career and academic success center, said prioritizing is an important skill he teaches during his time management workshops.
“We focus on prioritizing and making sure that people have their priorities in order,” Pratt said. “I use almost everything that I teach.”
The BYU career and academic workshops are free and provide services where students learn time management and other skills that help them with their daily schedules. Located in the Wilkinson Student Center, the workshops are easy to find and a solid resource for students struggling with the busy college atmosphere.
2. Make a schedule
Creating a schedule is the next major roadblock. Although knowing where to spend time can make things easier, coming up with an effective schedule can be difficult.
Mechanical engineering major Madison Boyer said creating a schedule is helpful, but it is important to prepare for unexpected changes.
“Sometimes the streets are full of traffic, so walking across to campus is often a challenge, and sometimes you have to change your plans,” Boyer said. “Just make a schedule. It’s all about preparation and making it easier to get to class on time by not being your own obstacle.”
Coordinator of student development and psychologist Julie Preece said scheduling an amount of time for schoolwork will help with grades and time management.
“Students may find it useful to plan out study time,” Preece said. “There is a tendency, it seems, to cram in study time when everything else is done, which may not be the best strategy to help get the grades you want.”
3. Stick to the schedule
Following the schedule can be another challenge. Some students fail to add certain activities to their plans, which can make straying from the schedule a tempting idea.
Preece said planning ahead is the key to getting to class on time and being prepared for the week.
“Often times we feel that a schedule is too binding and that we feel trapped,” Preece said. “It might be a good idea to remind ourselves that we plan the schedule, we control it, it does not control us.”
Maintaining a schedule can make college life less hectic and provide students with helpful skills for post-college lifestyles.
4. Prepare the night before
Preparing for class the night before can ease morning stress and allow students to stay on time.
Amanda Quebbeman, a senior and BYU career and academic services time management workshop instructor, said she struggles with getting to class on time and that getting things done the night before can be very helpful.
“The things that help me are getting things done the day before,” Quebbeman said. “We always seem to underestimate how long it is going to take us to do things, and sometimes I have to be realistic with myself and have to get my stuff together the night before.”
Some students leave their essays and other homework to be done in the mornings before class but fail to realize that this can add to a rushed morning. Preparation may not seem like an important step, but most students understand it is a real time-saver.
Student development instructor and psychologist Jonathan Cox gave advice to students on how to conquer class tardiness.
“I would recommend that students analyze the problem that keeps them from getting to class on time and then out-think their future self,” Cox said. “There are some important considerations: making concrete plans, being specific, committing to your plan, being flexible and accurately assessing your priorities.”