Updated: Nov 15, 2020
PHHS '18, Iona College '22
First of all, I am by no means an expert at balancing a packed schedule in college. However, I have picked up some tips and tricks through my tenure at Iona College the past 4 semesters that have helped me maneuver my busy everyday life with a level of consistency and simplicity.
At Iona, I play on the nationally ranked rugby team, am an active brother of Pi Kappa Phi, and possess an internship for New York State Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, all while maintaining a 3.6 GPA. I hope that my routine and tips can help you implement healthy changes that benefit you throughout college.
For many people, college is their first time on their own for a prolonged amount of time. Going in with the right mindset is indispensable. Each semester is a journey in itself, naturally bringing ups and downs. Feeling overwhelmed at times is expected but you can always power through. No challenge you will come across during college is impossible, so never doubt your abilities. From experience, who you surround yourself with is important. I had a great support system and surrounded myself with like-minded, success-oriented people who participated in similar things as me. Some of the best friends you can get in college are people who challenge you to be the best you can be. People who you can relate to, and be yourself around.
Monday & Wednesday Spring 2020 Schedule
9:00 am - Wake Up & Breakfast
9:30-1 pm - Internship
2:00-3:18 - Class (a meal in class)
3:30-4:48 - Class (snack before rugby)
5 pm - Rugby practice
6:30-9:30 pm - Night class (Monday, dinner in class)
7:30 pm - Dinner (Wednesday)
8:00 pm - Library (Wednesday)
10:00 pm - Fraternity Chapter (Wednesday)
12:00 - Lights out
On any given week-day I am able to set aside around 2 to 3 hours of free time without having any other responsibilities. Purely my time. Utilizing these precious minutes gives you the advantage to conquer the day. One of the best pieces of advice I could give is to prep food for the next day. Preparing for the following day used to be laying out your clothes for school, now it is conducting meal prep and finishing as much homework as you can each day. The last thing you want is to be rushing, doing last-minute assignments, and eating greasy fast food often. As someone who cannot function malnourished, prepping fulfilling meals that can be eaten cold or heated up quickly is essential. My usual routine involves cooking around 3lbs of 2 different proteins and 8 servings of vegetables.
The biggest life hack I know is to always have ready-to-go protein at all times. Being able to snack on a chicken breast and sip coffee before practice gives me the boost I need to perform. Also, meal prepping is not as boring and time-consuming as you think. I have housemates, 11 to be exact. They always come running when they smell me cooking. I tell them if they want a plate they need to help in the cooking processes whether it be washing the vegetables or slicing avocados. Using your downtime to be social with your friends but also being productive is a wonderful time and helps reduce the everyday stress that comes with college life.
Every day brings amazing experiences and the possibility to make unforgettable memories. But each day also brings difficulties and stress that can be dealt with if you maintain a positive and determined mindset. This brings me to my next tip: be consistent, and earn little victories. These little victories could be waking up an hour early to workout so you have more free time later that day, or completing homework before the due date so it’s out of mind and you can focus on something else. Nothing is more annoying than having the nagging thought in the back of your head when you’re trying to relax, that you have some school work that needs to be completed. The importance of completing homework and assigned material on time cannot be understated. Most classes' grades are heavily determined by homework completion and participation. Obviously the Midterm, and Final are paramount, but a valid homework and participation grade can be the difference between an A and a B. So win each day by being consistent and productive. If you do your work during the week, you can have a great time on the weekends, guilt-free.
Iona College is a fairly small school, with just about 4,000 undergrad students. Going here comes with many pros and cons, but for me, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. Seeing familiar faces regularly creates a very intimate college experience. Friend groups are very intertwined which makes going out on the weekends very enjoyable. The close-knit community allows everyone to feel included and cared for. I wouldn’t trade my time at Iona for the world. College is a once in a lifetime experience which should be appreciated for what it is. The bridge to adulthood, and the time in your life where campfire stories are sprouted from. So enjoy every moment and look at each day as a new adventure that will only benefit you in the future. The experiences you go through in college are unbelievably useful and important in the journey into adulthood. And the friendships conjured in college will last a lifetime. I do hope that this blog entry has made you excited for your fall semester, and hopefully shed some light on how to successfully time manage.