How To Manage Your Time In College (And Beyond!)
As a young girl, I wanted to grow up as fast as I could. I would measure my growth through milestones --like getting my ears pierced at 10, learning to drive, and graduating high school. If you were like me, you might have had a fantasy of how easy it would be when you finally got older and took the leap into college. But, to be totally honest, nobody ever told us how overwhelming this leap really would be. As we learn how to prioritize school, work, relationships, commitments, and spending time with God, our attentions are being pulled in different directions and we are easily distracted. This can become draining if we don't learn how to prioritize.
Before we move on, I want to lay down a foundation. If you are not being filled, but continue to pour yourself out to everyone and everything around you, you won't get very far. You will quickly become drained and won’t be fun to be around (trust me I have been there many times). I want to clarify this because I always thought this ONLY meant being filled by spending time with God. I think we sometimes only go that far. We forget to take more time out of our week or day to do things we enjoy. If we spend time always doing everything everyone else wants, we will lose who God has made us be.
I want to share three steps that allow you to prioritize so you don't have to keep asking yourself, “What has to give?”.
Lay Your Foundation
One of my good friends once told me to plan out my week, starting with things that I absolutely HAVE to do. Then, see if I have time to add things into my schedule. I want to challenge you to get out your old calendar and plan your week. Write down things that you have committed yourself to--like homework, going to class, maybe a job, spending time with God, or going to church etc.
Start to Build
I want to encourage you to look and see where you have some space to make some time for things that you like to do. If you can't think of anything, try some new hobbies--take that dance class that you have always wanted to do or start reading that book that has been on yourself for 3 years!
Add the Finishing Touches
Lastly, see where else you have extra time where you can meet with others and pour into them. Maybe give a phone call to your friend you haven't talked to in a few months or grab coffee with someone new who just started coming to your church.
I also want to do a shout out to perfectionists. Doing all these things will help you, but it will not make your life perfect. I love to look for formulas in order to do everything right, so I feel your pain and frustration. I just want to give you a little reminder that no matter what, God loves you and He is rooting for you. He understands that we go through different seasons of life and some are busier than others. But if you are in a season of pouring out to others and you are not spending time with Christ, as well as taking time to do some things that you enjoy, it won't make you any less of a Christian, but it will make things harder.
“God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life.” When life is heavy and feels like it is too much, remember practical ways to prioritize and that your foundation is built on Christ. Then you don’t have to ask, “What has to give?” -Psalm 62:1-2 (MSG)
How do you prioritize your time and schedule to make time for what matters most?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Moriah Spencer and I’m an English Major at Nyack College. Ever since I was young I have had a passion to create. Whether that be writing a story, painting, or decorating my room. God has given me a desire to share how He has changed my life and I am excited to take you along on my journey!