OPINION | Students must be intentional with their time

Estefania Cardona Forero, Contributing Writer

Emma Clark Luster

The average college student spends 675 hours a semester on school work, a staggering 1,350 hours a year. This figure breaks down so that students spend approximately 45 hours — 26% of a week — on school work over the span of seven days.

Beyond necessary school work, students must also sleep and eat. They probably prefer to socialize, pursue hobbies, join extracurriculars, and they may even hold a job. Moreover, they may crave alone time or time for self-care. When there’s so much to do and so many activities that demand one’s time, how is it that some students seem to balance it all?  This dilemma begs the question: what are people doing around campus that results in a balanced life? Are students able to achieve goals beyond school and social life?

Time defines our lives. It is the one concept that keeps track of our society, our world, our own lives — however long they might get to be. It can be especially scary for adolescents on the brink of adulthood. Everyone perceives time differently, making it easier to understand something that is truly abstract, something unseen. And yet, time goes away with the days, the months, the seasons and years. 

Some of us get trapped in the prison of time. Life takes place in the present, yet it’s tempting to think about how every second matters, as much as each goes away. 

College students balance so much that even calling one’s parents seems like a challenge. It becomes more daunting to ask how we can make a change in the world. In the 21st century, nothing is easy, even if we believe that modernization is our savior. There’s always another class, another assignment, another exam, another grade, another restless night — another responsibility.

João de Lacerda is a freshman at Tulane and the founder of Recolectivo, an NGO in Brazil that redirects school supplies from private institutions to underdeveloped communities. When asked about time spent doing something you love and something that isn’t your responsibility, he said, “I find it hard to distinguish those two things because everything that I do, I believe there’s an end goal to it, something that I keep in mind that I’m trying to strive for.” 

When finding what works for you, it is easier to achieve a well-balanced schedule if you prioritize your goals to align with your passions.

Lisa Moomaw is a senior at Tulane and future investment banking analyst at UBS in New York City. She mentioned that a bullet journal and Google calendar comprise the system she uses to keep organized. She believes that writing down small goals helps tackle enormous tasks, and, more than that, actually writing it down makes it more probable she will accomplish her goals.

Lisa said, “I’m a huge believer in the philosophy that in order to succeed at something, you have to be a bit delusional. The example that I always give is [to] think about every person in the NFL. Obviously, there are a lot more people who want to be in the NFL [than] who are actually going to be in the NFL, but every single person who did make it to the NFL, truly and aggressively believed they really had what it took. And gave that 100%” 

There are many ways that students can take advantage of their time. Students must be self aware and cognizant of their boundaries and priorities. They should figure out their own organizational systems, whether that be to-do lists or using calendars. Allot time to reflect on each day to internalize what steps to take weekly to achieve your goals. Remember that we are all humans and success looks different for everyone. 

Accept failure and use it as a learning experience. Students should not be afraid to quit some things that will allow them to prioritize and rethink their plans. They can also multi-task and rework their schedules to fit in new passions. Scheduling days ahead time provides extra room in student’s schedules. College students must believe in themselves and be their biggest supporters to accomplish their goals. Lastly, learning to make time work for them will greatly improve the productivity and accomplishments of Tulane Students. 

Time is the only thing that will make a difference in your life. Use it. You might be surprised by the person you become when every second matters.

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