By Alyssa Delarossa
Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula
[3 minute read]
As USC has mostly transitioned to an in-person learning format, the struggle to adjust from over a year of online and remote learning to in-person is well felt within the student body. One of the hardest adjustments for myself and other students I have talked to is time management. While time management during remote learning was a struggle and adjustment, time management for in-person classes has always been a struggle and an especially big adjustment for freshmen and other first-year students. I’m going to share some tips for time management that I find helpful and hope they either can be of use to you or serve as a source of inspiration to form your own time management habits.
Taking a bit of time to thoroughly plan my days out as much as I can has served me well when it comes to exams, assignments, club and organizational activities, and other deadlines that I have to meet. I usually do this by making to-do lists on my phone notes app and calendar, putting down the time and length for each task (emails, homework, study, etc). I even put planning and random tasks such as grocery shopping and grabbing a coffee, which I find to be super helpful.
While taking the extra bit of time to thoroughly plan out your daily school and extracurricular activities can be extremely beneficial, this will not get you very far if you are unable to stay focused. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about attaining an all-day hours on end laser focus; everyone has different attention spans, so it’s about getting to know your own attention span and things that help keep your focus. For me, I usually like to get my work done in my room or if I do have to be on campus, I usually try to find a quiet place outside or in classroom halls (still hesitant to use the libraries due to COVID). I also find that I usually have to take short breaks in between studying and working. Other things that help my focus include pairing tasks with a particular time of day. For instance, I prefer to study for exams or complete assignments first thing in the morning or late at night. During the afternoon time, I find I am more productive at emails and extracurricular work. I also find that music helps me attain my focus, particularly pop and rock music.
Lastly, never be fearful to reach out to your roommates, classmates, mentors, etc., for an accountability partnership. Accountability partnerships can be anything from casual check-ins on studying and meeting deadlines to having weekly sessions on goals and strategies. My roommates and I hold each other accountable on our studying and other tasks by checking in every night with short conversations on how we are doing in our respective assignments. Then, we help each other out if needed in different ways, such as studying together or leaving the apartment to focus more.
I hope these tips either prove helpful for you or serve as a foundation to creating your own time management tips. Remember that no one can ever know you and your habits better than yourself, and with time and practice you can form study skills that will give you the best possible results.
Alyssa is a student at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences majoring in psychology. Alyssa has lived in four different cities in California including Ventura, Somerset, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clarita. Currently, Alyssa resides in Oxnard, California. When she is not studying or working on various community engagement projects, Alyssa enjoys reading, skateboarding, skim boarding, rollerblading, ice skating, hiking, and going to the beach.