Managing Your Time At University – It Does Matter

Congratulations. You’ve been accepted into the university of your choice and the next 4 years of your life stretch ahead of you full of boundless possibilities. No more swapping for exams, racing to get assignments done on time or any of the other boring drudge that goes with high school living. Or so you think….

For some high school students, university may seem like an opportunity to breeze their way through 4 years. The reality however is quite different. University is another 4 years of more of the same as their high school years – studying for exams, racing to get assignments done on time, attending lectures, and generally putting in some quality time to get a degree that will ensure they can support themselves for the rest of their lives.

The difference is that where high school authorities, and your parents, took a dim view of skipping classes, late assignments and such, university authorities are much more prone to simply shrugging their shoulders and adopting an attitude of ‘all good things come to those who work for them’. In other words, you’re really only letting yourself and your future down if you fritter away your years at university. The university doesn’t particularly care if you get your degree or not. Lectures don’t have roll calls to see who is and isn’t there. If you choose not to attend, that’s your loss, and your problem. Further, you likely won’t have your parents hovering over you either prompting you to do things. You’re on your own, and responsible for your own destiny.

There’s no shortage of things to do and see at university either. And also no shortage of things that your parents used to take care of for you. If you’re living on campus, that means being responsible for your own laundry, washing, grocery shopping, cooking and the myriad of other chores that make up life’s daily routine. On top of this, you need to find the time to study!

It’s now your responsibility to manage your time so you can fit in all of these activities. There’s no ‘higher authority’ overseeing the process; you sink or swim by your own efforts. The temptation to enjoy this sudden freedom may be strong but you’ll find out rather quickly that if you don’t also exercise some discipline and self-control, your academic career won’t be very successful. It’s an excellent learning curve for adult life in fact!

This isn’t to say that university is all grind and no fun though. It can be one of the best times of your life, as well as one of the most rewarding educationally. However, it takes discipline to ensure the good times are balanced with the study times. You do this by developing good time management skills. This will let you to successfully balance your university life so you get enough recreation whilst still putting in enough academic time to get your degree.

Draw up a time management plan. Decide what your specific goals need to be, and when you’re going to put in the work to achieve them. If you don’t, you’re likely to fall victim to the biggest time waster of all – procrastination. Like the famous saying goes – if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. You may even decide that pursuing an online degree is easier but again, it requires commitment to putting in the time needed to study and complete assignments. The difference is that you can fit these things in around your other commitments, and for some people that just may be easier to achieve.

Looking for a career in the fire services and considering doing it online? Don’t be fooled into thinking that taking online fire classes for certifications like Fire Officer is much different to doing any other type of online degree or certification. Even though fire certifications don’t take as long to get as a degree, you still need to plan your time. This is particularly the case if you’re also working whilst you’re studying.

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