College students always talk about not having enough time. I know I’ve definitely done this, and I know basically all my friends have, too. Balancing friends, family, classes, homework, a social life, extracurriculars, and sleep somewhere in the middle is always a challenge, and it’s one that doesn’t get easier as you get further through college. I mean, I’m three semesters deep, and I haven’t seen the light yet. Maybe senior year? Regardless, when there’s this many things to do, this many distractions around, and this many people pulling on your attention, it’s critical that you know what’s happening when and where you need to be. Also, one thing I hear a lot is that if you schedule everything, you turn into some sort of mechanical robot with no soul. Absolutely, completely untrue! Scheduling your day lets you use your time more effectively, not less. Scheduling lets you spend more time with your friends, more time chilling, and more time working on homework. The only thing you have to do is have the diligence to do it. I’m posting a calendar of my past week, and I wanted to note a couple things that are important to schedule, but that most people don’t think about.
Schedule food. Meals are easily forgotten, and if you do, you’ll be hungry, tired, and crabby. Schedule eating, as well as (and probably more importantly) the times you set aside to make food! It’s hard in the beginning, but you’ll soon realize that it takes longer than you think it does to be healthy. Despite that, it’s always worth it.
Schedule sleep! Sleep is not a secondary that you can just ignore and get away with. Sure, you might be fine for a day or two, but if you don’t schedule your sleep and make sure you’ve set aside time for it, you’re going to be in a whole lot of trouble when Thursday and Friday roll around. Make sure you get enough, whatever that means to you. I usually do this by leaving a blank space (one of the only) on my calendar.
Schedule breaks! The point of scheduling everything is not to use all your time and burn through your day. Schedule breaks in to make sure that you don’t burnout or get discouraged. If you can schedule breaks, then you’ll be good to go!
These are just a few of the things that I do, and I hope you learned something valuable! Being an engineer at USC is challenging, but it’s always possible to balance everything going on in your life and be happy doing it!