Where Does the Time Go?
By now you’re likely back in the swing of things following your Winter Break, and are probably starting to feel the stress of spring semester. As your courses get harder and your homework gets longer, you have a lot of studying to do, both for your classes, and for standardized tests. Meanwhile, it can be easy (and fun) to get distracted by extracurricular activities, friends, and Facebook. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up!
But we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, your first priority is always studying hard and keeping up your grades. To help you, our expert counselors have come up with the following tips so that you can manage your time effectively during the coming months:
- Plan your study time at home efficiently, in one-hour blocks. Take 5-10 minute breaks at the end of each hour to relax or read a news article that interests you before tackling the next assignment or project. It’s important not to become distracted during your breaks. Avoid getting caught up in long phone conversations or IM sessions! Consider setting a timer to let you know when it’s time to get back to work
- Prioritize what you have to do every week. Tests and papers come first. Plan in advance to work on them, not the night before. In fact, as soon as you get the assignment or test date, you should begin preparing incrementally. A project done the night before is never as good as one that has been gradually strengthened over time.
- Get a good night's sleep every night, and especially on Friday nights, because standardized tests are most often taken on Saturday mornings. Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night will leave you refreshed and ready to face each class and activity with maximum focus and energy. Pulling an all-nighter ultimately does you a disservice. If you are tired after school, instead of sleeping until dinner, you should train yourself to take 30-minute power naps, which will re-energize you without wasting valuable time. We recommend going out with friends only one night a week, preferably on Saturday night.
While it is certainly beneficial to have a daily schedule, it is not uncommon for students and parents to become preoccupied with day-to-day necessities and lose sight of the big picture in terms of college planning. High school students should think about long-term planning including developing a long-term course map, creating a testing schedule, and scheduling college visits. For example, when it comes to testing, the best way to handle it all is by beginning preparation for your standardized tests several months in advance. In addition, try spacing your test dates out so you are not wrestling with too much test prep at any given time.
When it comes to time management for high school students, the most important step is figuring out your goals. Too many students go through high school (and the college admissions process) blindly, not taking the time to figure out what they want out of their education and what they need to do to get there. It’s easy to become overwhelmed during these important four years. Relax. Remember, high school can be stressful, but it’s an exciting time to discover who you are and plan for your future. With the proper time management, goals, and planning, we hope that you’ll look back on these years as some of the best of your life!
Need help managing your time, setting goals, and planning for the college admissions process? We can help! Take the the first step on your student's path to a successful college application process.