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Managing Your Free Time Wisely as a College Student

Managing Your Free Time Wisely as a College Student


By Ryan Laspina
Analyst, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS

A successful college student attends all classes, actively participates in classroom discussions, and makes sure that all assignments are turned in completely and on time. While these activities are absolutely necessary to performing well in school, what you do in your free time will also have an impact on your overall college experience.

What to Do with Your Free Time

1. Get a part-time job. Working while attending school not only provides income, it also builds skills in organizing your time and contributes to a strong work ethic.

In addition, working helps build your skillset and resume. A part-time job also offers a greater opportunity to gain a sense of accomplishment and productivity, which is important to cultivating a healthy attitude.

2. Study. Much of what you learn in the classroom can be lost soon after leaving your academic environment. Stay sharp and boost your comprehension by studying notes, textbooks and supplemental materials. You will feel less stressed, be more confident and improve your chances of doing well on tests and research papers.

3. Socialize. Socializing should not be your top priority, but it is important. College is a time to explore and gain new ideas and viewpoints.

Socializing with fellow students and faculty from varying backgrounds (including your own) is a great way to get this exposure. You can learn more about yourself and others around you.

4. Get involved in extracurricular activities. Participating in university clubs or teams, social events and causes is a great way to become a well-rounded student. It also provides you with a way to give back to your community and college, as well as meet new people with interests similar to your own.

What Not to Do with Your Free Time

1. Play video games, watch TV movies or sit glued to your computer. These things are fine if you have nothing productive that needs to be accomplished, but it should always be a last priority. Substituting studying for a test with video games is a surefire way not to succeed in school.

2. Stress about your workload. College can be difficult, but stressing about your academic responsibilities is not going to have any positive impact on your life.

Most schools offer support counseling for students who are struggling with their studies or personal issues. Reach out to the appropriate department if you are feeling extremely stressed out due to your academic workload or personal issues.

3. Interact with bad influences. As an adult, you will know if the people around you are positive or negative influences. Make a conscious effort to avoid listening to and interacting with people who might not share your priorities or who do not have your best interests at heart.

As a college student, you probably will not have much free time. So it is important to utilize what little free time you have in a positive way. You will intuitively know what are positive and negative activities, so make sure you are only doing positive things with your limited free time.