JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Time Management Crucial
To Academic Success

Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau

JACKSONVILLE -- May 8, 2001 -- It’s 3:00 a.m. and you’re just making it in from your usual Thursday night party. Just as you lay your tired head on your soft pillow, you realize you have a biology exam at 7:30 a.m. And you’ve forgotten to study.

“Time management for college students is critical,” says Dr. Claudia McDade, professor of psychology at Jacksonville State University.

Dr. McDade says there is a healthy balance between study, work and partying. Students can study the right amount of time without being a nerd OR a party animal.

Some students find this healthy balance before attending college. Everyday routines, such as sleep patterns, play a role in how students manage their time. Teens need more sleep than adults. But is there such a thing as too much sleep?

“Some students and adults try to catch up on their sleep on the weekends,” comments McDade. “But it is impossible to catch up.”

Our bodies function better in a routine. By getting the same amount of sleep each night and going to bed and waking up at the same time throughout the week, we are less likely to be fatigued. This routine will also give us more energy.

“Studies also show that students who hold a regular job are more likely to be able to manage their time wisely,” says McDade. But those same studies show that students who work 20 hours or more are more likely to drop out. Students who work 15 hours or less are more likely to find that healthy balance between school, work and play.

Though students may have these routines when they reach college, there are factors which may hinder them. For most students, college is the first time they have complete freedom. They usually have no one to tell them to go to class or even get out of bed in the morning.

There are also many more temptations in college, such as parties and drinking. But students are handed their greatest power—the power to choose. Students who choose not to take a full load of classes may find themselves with too much time on their hands.

Dr. McDade teaches a freshman study skills course at JSU. During this course, students identify when they are wasting time. These times include waiting on a friend or waiting at the doctor’s office. Here, students can carry their homework or assigned reading.

“As a general rule, for every one hour a student is in class,” says McDade, “he or she must study two hours outside of class.” This amount of study time allows the student to learn the material thoroughly and helps prevent test anxiety. So every minute of time is crucial.

“Students should plan for a month in advance,” says McDade. “I’m amazed at how many students don’t use pocket calendars.”

Pocket calendars are a great gift for any high school grad. There are exam dates to remember, papers due, homework, group work, parties and other campus functions they’ll need to remember. A pocket calendar is a great way to keep it all together.

“Success has nothing to do with grades,” says McDade. “It depends on how you manage your time.”


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