With every new experience comes challenges, and anxieties that can be overwhelming if they are not handled and dealt with in a reasonable way. Beginning college is certainly no exception. Stress takes forms, most notably in the academic sense, As exams, papers, and various projects and assignments. Making the grade is an important aspect of many of college students, and the best way of getting good grades without sacrificing all aspects of a social life is effective time management. Well developed time management skills not only help to organize all the different pieces of a studentr’s life it also reduces their levels of stress and anxiety, while allowing them to achieve decent grade point averages. Simply learning and implementing useful time management techniques can help me and anyone through the turbulent transition to college academic life.
College life is filled with academic stressors and anxieties that consume most students. Many of the reported causes and time periods during the school semester in which students experienced heighten angst were similar and consistent among their peers. However, freshman and sophomores students had higher reactions to stress than juniors and seniors (Misra, 2000, 1). This variation is caused by the underclassmenr’s lack of strong social support networks, and their underdeveloped coping mechanisms needed to deal with college stress due to demanding school work and tasks. Academic stress not only stems from the physical workload of classes, exams, papers, projects, and assignments, but also from psychological factors. Most of the pressure and stress students face is self-imposed. Students perception of the extensive knowledge base required and the perception of an inadequate amount of time to develop it, studying for exams, grade competition, and the large amount of content to master in a small amount of time, are all considered academic stressors (Misra, 2000, 1). Avoiding and not dealing with everyday stressors can lead to work and other situations pilling up and becoming severely overwhelming. Excessive negative stress and anxiety can be detrimental to a studentr’s physical and psychological impairment (Misra, 2000, 2). The key to handling stress and class workloads is an effective time management schedule.
The concept of time management is explained as behaviors that are believed to aid in productivity and alleviate stress (Misra, 2000, 2). Implementing time management strategies helps to organize the aspects of your life, therefore allowing yourself time to complete all the tasks necessary to reduce your stress level. In completing the tasks in a scheduled and organized fashion a student will also enhance their academic performance and achievement. Time management behaviors consist of starting large assignments well before their due dates, breaking down large assignments into small ones, and completing small tasks on a regular schedule. Other effective tactics include setting goals and priorities, the use of lists and mechanics, an organized workplace, and the perceived control of time (Misra, 2000, 2). Studies conducted on college students have shown that while using these management strategies reduced their levels of stress, females were more apt to respond to them than males (Misra, 2000, 3). The mere feeling of being in control of a stressful situation drastically reduced students anxiety related to that situation. Although controlling stress is an important aspect of the transition to college, being successful is even more significant. Time management has also been linked to overall higher GPAs of college students.
Using effective time management skills allots a student significant time in which to complete all their academic tasks. The more study time that is given to a certain class or subject has a positive effect on the grade received for that particular class. Students understand that as they take more classes, they will have to devote the extra time needed to study for those classes. They also understand that the higher GPA that they hope to attain, the more committed they must be to academics. This determination leads them to schedule and organize their complex lives into a system that will allow them to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. Time management ability was positively associated with quarter GPA. Time management ability was also positively associated with amount of hours scheduled to be in class and amount of study time because better time management ability increased the effectiveness with which time is used(Lahmers, 2000, 3).
Studies have found that students spend forty or more hours a week on academic activities, 55 hours per week sleeping, 8 hours eating, and 20 hours involved with leisure activities (Lahmers, 2000, 7). This full-time academic schedule of most college students demonstrates the need and usefulness of time management techniques. It is even more imperative to college students who, on top of their academic workload are juggling a part time job, to implement an organized time management schedule. The most precious resource of a college student is their time and learning to control this commodity is the key to academic success.
Starting college is a challenging transition to adapt to and having the opportunity to be able to utilize beneficial time management strategies should be available to all college students. Research shows that these skills can be easily taught, and it has been suggested that topics such as time management be incorporated into freshman orientation programs (Lahmers, 2000, 8). Academic stress is very prevalent throughout many college campuses and is the cause of many students decisions to drop out of universities (Misra, 2000, 4). Time management has been a proven stress reducer, by helping break up and spread out workloads so that students can complete assignments with as little anxiety as possible. Using such organizational techniques also allocates ample amounts of study time for each class improving students GPA. Time management strategies provide an effective guide for working your way through any college experience and are invaluable to every type of university student
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