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Returning to college after having been out of the school system for seven years has been quite a challenge. For me, high school was relatively easy; I had a teacher there to hold my hand every step of the way. The college scene is completely different as O'Keeney states, “You’re really on your own when it comes to passing courses.” Having strong organization and time management skills has helped make my time at college successful thus far.
I owe a great deal of gratitude towards my work experiences. Without them, I would be having an extremely difficult time in college because “As a college student, you will be in complete control of your time and how you use it” (Surviving Freshman Year). One of the experiences that I gained while working in accounting was the ability to manage time well. With the lack of employees and increasing work-load, I had to be able to complete of all my work in a given time, and needless to say, with almost perfect accuracy. That was a very challenging task, but the only way I was able to keep my head on straight was by placing everything into organized stacks ranging in order of importance. I have taken this experience and reused it for school purposes.
One of the goals I set for myself is to select the classes that are needed for my degree in the nursing profession; hence, I need to “Know what courses are being offered, and decide which ones you’re interested in” (Surviving Freshman Year). I looked at the suggested number of credit hours to take and decided which classes would fit into those hours, trying to only include one course that I knew would be difficult.
As it worked out, this semester I have classes all week with the exception of Thursday, when I have no classes. For the days that I am at school, I have anywhere from 3 ½ to 5 hours of studying time in between my morning and afternoon classes. I use this time to my advantage. It helps keep me on track to “Study at a regular time and in a regular place” (Surviving Freshman Year). The study rooms in building B are great for those times. O'Keeney's suggestion is to “Find a room at home or a spot in the library that is relatively quiet – and boring.
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"Success with Orgination and Time Management." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2019
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Regardless of whether I have school or personal activities, “the secret here is to organize your time” (O’Keeney). I have found a few ways to help keep myself organized and always remember what important event is coming up. The first way that I have found helpful is by keeping a calendar at home and carrying a planner around with me at all times. On my calendar, I have a list of days that I need to remember such as projects due dates, exam dates, doctor appointments, and due dates for my bills. With having such a hectic life and having to remember all the information from my classes, I need something that will make my life a little less chaotic.
Another method I use to help keep me organized is keeping a weekly "to do" list. Besides, “The best thing about a ‘to do’ list is that it seems to tame all of those stray ‘I have to’ thoughts that nag at your mind” (O’Keeney). I pick a date, usually Monday evenings, and write a list of everything that needs to be accomplished for that week including the day it needs to be completed. I tend to strategize my list; therefore, I can “Get the important things done first. The secondary things you don’t finish can simply be moved to your next ‘to do’ list” (O’Keeney).
Having a full-time job as a mom and wife, I dothe majority of my studying is done right here at school. I have also set aside times for studying at home; during the week I may try to get in a few hours of studying after my child goes to bed for the evening. If I am ahead of my syllabus for the classes, I tend to devote a little more time in the evenings to relax with my family; because “You won’t be any good to yourself or to anyone else if you don’t relax and pack in the studying once in a while” (O’Keeney). I also make it important to have personal time blended in nicely with homework and studying. My husband and I usually pick a night of the week to have “date night”; this is our opportunity to spend quality time with each other as well as catch up with all the things that have been going on during the week.
I cannot express how much help it has been for me to keep organized and manage my time properly. So far, I have been able to keep up my grades and have managed to complete my duties outside of school. Organization has also helped me to have a positive attitude towards everything; in other words, “A positive attitude is the key to everything else – good study habit, smart time scheduling, and coping with personal difficulties” (O’Keeney). I suggest that anyone who may be struggling right now take the time to get organized and see if that makes a difference.
O'Keeney, Brian. "How to Make It in College, Now That You're Here" College writing Skills with Readings. Ed. John Langan. New York: McGraw, 1985
"Surviving Freshman Year"