High school students have worked many years toward the goal of going to college. They have passed classes intended to prepare them for secondary education and have taken standardized tests, such as the ACT or SAT numerous times to better their chances to attend the college of their dreams. It is during this time that strong study habits and time management skills should have been formed. Some may think they have a fervent grasp on these two aspects of school only to find out during freshman year this is not the case. As they look back to high school they realize there wasnt much homework or time allotment needed to prepare for tests.
According to Cherif, faculty members stated many reasons, including the fact that a significant number of incoming students have poor levels of or a complete lack of academic preparedness for college courses, lack of learning and study skills, and/or lack of organizational skills (including time management and setting priorities) (Cherif et al). Study habits are not the only reason some college students do not as well as they think. There is just so much happening at school, where choices to what to be involved with need to be made. College students don’t set out to fail, but time management can keep them from performing to the best of their ability.
With freshman year comes a lot of changes and firsts. This is usually the first time the students are away from their parents. It is totally up to them to make all their own decisions without the input from mom or dad. Though their parents are just a phone call away, most students feel they are adult enough to make the right decision. This feeling of total freedom leaves some students with the same feeling Fiona had about a class she felt was not relevant to her education, I am going to be where I want to be at the time I want to be there, and you don’t have to babysit me (Kivnc).
Course schedules are made up a semester in advance with the help of a counselor. The counselorr’s job is to make sure you stay on schedule for graduation in four years by taking the appropriate classes and hours for your major. The counselor does not know if you are an early riser, if you are working or any of your other idiosyncrasies. It is up to the student to make the final decision.
Many colleges and universities are now offering more online classes. Sometimes online classes are the only way to get the class you need to stay on track. Students look at these classes as being easier. Only to find out online classes are more time consuming. So not only does a first time student need to choose the right classes they also need to be aware if they are in the correct delivery mode. For example, there are many students in online classes that should not be in those classes they do not have the skills to succeed. Students need to choose the delivery mode that fits their learning style, not what they think is easier (Cherif et al). The class times, courses and means of delivery you schedule are all in your control. There is only written rule within most colleges, taking twelve hours is considered a full time student. This magic number is what you will need to adhere to if you want to live on campus or use the athletic facilities. But most counselors recommend fifteen hours. Once you have selected your classes and times they should be noted as a priority when planning your day.
New to first time college students is the way classes are arranged. They are used to taking a class five days a week for a credit. Now their schedule may show a whole day off from classes. This may bring the thought of sleeping in late or just being able to video games for the whole day. Jeff Bennett formulates a general rule of time needed for college classes. You should expect to study about 2 to 3 hours per week outside class for each unit of credit (Bennett). According to Bennett if you are taking fifteen credit hours, you will spend approximately 30 to 45 hours each week studying outside of class. Now add on the hours you are in class and it is about 60 hours. These are hours a first time student may not know needs to be a part of accessing time management.
Now that your schedule has been made, students get an eye opening when it comes to their classes and studying. According to Maryellen Weimer, PhD, When learning isnt easy, a lot of students question their intellectual wherewithal, but thatr’s not a problem they have to face if the fault lies with the teacher. Students are so conditioned to sitting in a classroom and being spoon-fed the information the teacher deems is important, that they do not even attempt to read or think for themselves. It is so easy to blame the professor for your shortcomings or being expected to participate in the discussion of the class. Weaning students from their dependence on teachers is a developmental process(Weimer). This is one process that can throw a student severely off course. Having to change the way you absorb information is very time consuming. Extra time a student may not be willing to give if a better or more fun opportunity arises. Students are now caught behind the eight ball, in trying to read all the books and chapters assigned, meet paper deadlines, and participate in extracurricular activities, college students may become overwhelmed with feelings that there is not enough time to complete all their work adequately (McCann et al). This may leave the student to choose one class over another due to time constraints. Sylvia from McGill University found out the hard way stating, some of my main courses were suffering because of how hard I was trying to pick up the slack in this one class (Vice).
Time management does not just affect the student and grades. It affects the whole learning process. Frank Rubaduka, a student of University of Kigali, says poor time management spoils the teacher-student relationship hence affecting the studentr’s concentration whenever that particular teacher is in charge (Mbabazi). To round out the whole college experience students need to find time to decompress and unwind. Ohio State University found, aside from classes, students spent studying andsocializing with their friends, since both are critical to student success; socializing with friends is just one way that many students find a sense of belonging in college. Professors and students alike have found that poor preparedness is the main cause of failure in college. Time management is the number one reason according to professors. The Journal of Educational Psychology states, various time management behaviors are related to important outcome variables, including stress and performance (McCann, et al). Students who fall behind become very stressed out. This stressing leads to lack of knowledge of the subject and poor grades. Without proper time management skills students can have a lot of wasted time throughout their college experience.
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