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Old 05-12-2008, 09:08 PM   #1
PR-0927
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Time Management

Alright, so I'm wondering if anyone else has a similar problem or has any advice. I waste time like no other. I tend to waste time if I have too much of it, and am super-efficient when busy (but much more unhealthy because of stress and unhappiness).

I'm a freshman in college, and I'm finding a serious issue with myself - I'm used to high school. In high school, the material in each class was MUCH harder than in college, and was due the next day or within several days. Also, there wasn't too much reading necessary to complete the work, and the quantity of the work itself wasn't too massive.

In college, the material isn't too hard to grasp. The homework is usually due over the span of one to two weeks. Also, the reading required for the work tends to be MASSIVE, and the work quantity is also huge.

Like I said, I'm used to high school - I keep doing stuff at the last minute, and it's not working out the best. Even when I try to do something ahead of time, I fall behind in something else. The majority of my lecturers have been very monotonous and boring, which of course makes it virtually impossible for me to pay attention.

I have two midterms this week (one tomorrow and one Wednesday). I shouldn't be so worried (about one at least), but I am, because I am absolutely superb at wasting time. I'm great at working against myself - I set an alloted time to do work, and always end up changing it and being lenient. If I shut down my computer or log myself out (or disable the Internet), I find myself "correcting" the limitation I have put on myself.

I'm finding myself not doing well in very simple classes that I would normally have aced, and I have much free time, but I am always finding myself to be busy. When I study for something, it usually just involves me re-reading the chapters (or, most of the time, reading them for the first time), which I never finish doing, and end up skimming the last few (and most important) chapters, which obviously hurts me on tests.

The fact that I'm also very good at making extremely careless mistakes and not learning from them doesn't help much either. I seem to also get caught in very unfair situations with tests (vagueness of questions, etc.) which I can never convince the teachers of - I get shafted often by these circumstances.

So, I'm going crazy. In high school, I took VERY tough classes and kept a 4.0 GPA for all four years, did TONS of extracurriculars (and was officer in two of them), played sports for 3.5 years, played two instruments (lessons for them too), and went to "India Sunday School," where I learned Hindi. I still managed to play games, relax, watch movies, and hang out with my friends.

Now, I'm doing nothing but school work (and I'm the biggest criticizer of people who do nothing but academics) and am struggling very much. I haven't relaxed in forever (planned relaxation, wasting time talking to people or surfing the web when needing to be doing work doesn't really count IMO) or played games seriously in a LONG time (or just chilled with friends with no worries, or minimal worries).

I'm hoping most of you might be able to provide some insight and make suggestions as to what the hell I should be doing and how I can exercise better control over time usage and my life. I know many of you went to college already, or are current students in college.

Thanks.

I can't believe I just typed that much. Ironically enough, I'm acing my English 110.01 class, and writing no longer bothers me like it used to (even until last year).

- PR-0927




- Former Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Star Wars: Battlefront II modder. Used to go by the name "Majin Revan."
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:46 PM   #2
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Welcome to college for everyone.


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Old 05-12-2008, 09:54 PM   #3
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As someone who will soon be in college...

...this is a very depressing thread.



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Old 05-12-2008, 10:15 PM   #4
ET Warrior
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My first year of college resulted in a near breakdown and depression. The other three years were awesome.

My first year of grad school resulted in a near breakdown. Hopefully the next year is awesome.

I think it's just a matter of getting used to a new system of schooling.



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Old 05-12-2008, 10:43 PM   #5
Boba Rhett
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Take harder classes. If you're sleeping more than 27 hours a week you're not doing it right.

Seriously though, The filler classes do give you a lot of time to do things and this leads to problems like the ones you've mentioned. The harder classes demand more and demand it more often. That tends to straighten a lot of other things out in ones life. Believe it or not, you'll actually find it much easier to allot time for your activities because you won't be able to survive if you don't. I slept better, I ate better, I felt better and truly enjoyed what time I had to goof off/relax when I could.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:15 PM   #6
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You may want to consider joining/forming a study group if you find that you're having difficulty focusing on your own. It sounds as though you work better with structure and enjoy operating in an environment in which you have some amount of accountability toward others. Therefore, studying on your own is probably the last thing you want to be doing.

Find one or two people that have similar academic goals who also happen to be in your class and then schedule a couple of meetings each week to sit down and go over the materials together. Knowing that you're not going to be able to show up and "wing it" might inspire you to regain your focus. Showing up and having an opportunity to help others with areas they aren't getting will help you understand the material better, just as them helping you will do the same for them.

I had a study group like this that just happened to last the first two years of college and I cannot tell you how valuable it was.

PS: These people will also cheer you on when you do well in your class and get drunk with you when the semester is over
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:42 PM   #7
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I sometimes physically unhook my cable modem from the wall when I need to concentrate because I'll find 1000 reasons to pitter around online, but never one to overcome my laziness of going up a flight of stairs and messing with a little jack in good conscience.


Alternatively, stick a schedule and be honest with yourself. For finals and AP Tests, I say "Today I will honsetly study for 1 full hour, then play some Call of Duty". Rewards really do help !!
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:38 AM   #8
PR-0927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boba Rhett
Take harder classes. If you're sleeping more than 27 hours a week you're not doing it right.

Seriously though, The filler classes do give you a lot of time to do things and this leads to problems like the ones you've mentioned. The harder classes demand more and demand it more often. That tends to straighten a lot of other things out in ones life. Believe it or not, you'll actually find it much easier to allot time for your activities because you won't be able to survive if you don't. I slept better, I ate better, I felt better and truly enjoyed what time I had to goof off/relax when I could.

Haha, your advice caught my attention for some reason, LOL. Yeah, I'm taking 20 credit hours now (first quarter was 16, second was 19), and I expected the classes to be relatively easy - and they were for a while (I actually complained for a while), but now two of them are kicking my ass.

My first quarter I took a class in which I tried VERY hard and got a B+ (which was bad, simply because I'm Indian).

:P

But I've been trying to sleep earlier and wake up earlier (sleeping at random times - 3 A.M., 5 A.M., 8 A.M. and waking mid-afternoon tends to be unhealthy), and have been succeeding.

And yeah, as I said, I do operate more efficiently when ultra-busy, but the trade-off is unbearable stress and unhealthiness, LOL (that was my senior year of high school in a nutshell - I took WAY too many hard classes). But I think I'll try that from now on.

Achilles, I'd love to do that, except...I found that at a huge university (biggest in the nation, OSU), meeting people actually is tough because of the crowd, and the huge classes. I don't know a single person in my Economics 201 class (macroeconomics - I found microeconomics to be so much easier, which is one of the classes I am getting owned by) and that's partially because there are at least 300 people in the damn class, LOL. It would have worked for a Spanish class I took...except I already owned that class and didn't need to study for it really, LOL.

RoxStar, I swear I have like my alter ego coming out every time I try to do something like that - I tend to work against myself and correct the "issue" I caused. And rewards worked so well for me in high school, but here I haven't been able to be honest to myself (or I tend to hurt myself by rewarding myself).

ET Warrior, I think you're right - it might just take me till next year.

Nonetheless, it's depressing, and I think "senioritis" is still in my system from high school.

Anyone have any advice for making yourself listen to your own promise and stick by it?

Also, is studying by re-reading (or reading for the first time) chapters a good method, or should I avoid that? I can't believe I don't know any longer how to study. In high school I managed to study for 12 hours straight for a midterm once (which I aced, but got sick from being so stressed, LOL).

Oh, and I'm one of those people that tend to not stop studying. If I have five hours to study for a test that only needs one hour of studying, I'll use them. Or, if I can study for two days, I'll do that (except I never end up studying for two days, because procrastination runs strong within me). This once made me end up studying till 11:30 A.M., then trying to sleep for 30 minutes (bad idea!). I ended up sleeping for 3 hours and I slept through a final. That was rather scary, but I managed to come up with an excuse and was able to make it up.

Any advice for that either?

I really appreciate it - evidence that the members of Yoda's Swamp have great advice to give (I love asking for help with problems here, LOL). It's embarrassing, because typically, people tend to ask me for advice in stuff like this, so I'm on the flip-side.

- PR-0927




- Former Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Star Wars: Battlefront II modder. Used to go by the name "Majin Revan."
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-0927
I found that at a huge university (biggest in the nation, OSU), meeting people actually is tough because of the crowd, and the huge classes.
This will likely change as you get further into your major. I attend the University of Colorado, so I've had plenty of lectures with 3-4 hundred students, but it gets much more manageable as you continue, and you start to get to know the people who are studying the same thing you are.

I imagine some of it is just the transition to a different environment meaning your usual methods aren't quite working because you're also dealing with adapting to a new lifestyle.



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Old 05-13-2008, 01:28 AM   #10
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Yeah, I think you're right. Except that I've had from September to do so (classes started the 19th here, we moved in the 16th) and I'm in my third quarter (which ends from June 3rd-5th). I guess it takes a year to deal with it maybe.

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:50 AM   #11
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I'm in the same boat with procrastination. I seriously cannot make myself do the work until the last second most of the time. This semester I was given over a month to do a research paper in an online class. I ended up doing it all on the last day and submitting it with 2 minutes left.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-0927
Achilles, I'd love to do that, except...I found that at a huge university (biggest in the nation, OSU), meeting people actually is tough because of the crowd, and the huge classes. I don't know a single person in my Economics 201 class (macroeconomics - I found microeconomics to be so much easier, which is one of the classes I am getting owned by) and that's partially because there are at least 300 people in the damn class, LOL. It would have worked for a Spanish class I took...except I already owned that class and didn't need to study for it really, LOL.
I find it hard to believe that in this day and age, there isn't some way for students to communicate with each other on a university campus. In the old days they posted notices on corkboard outside the classroom. I'm sure that the university has some equivalent of craig's list that serves a similar purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-0927
Anyone have any advice for making yourself listen to your own promise and stick by it?
You mean self-discipline?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-0927
Also, is studying by re-reading (or reading for the first time) chapters a good method, or should I avoid that?
Everyone has a different style of studying that works best for them. The sooner that you can find out what your's is, the easier it will be for you (for me personally, I skim the reading and take lots of notes. I review the notes later if I need a refresher. Also, I've found that charts, graphs, and other representations of ideas are easier for me to process and retain than choking down a hardy wall o' text).

I hope that helps.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:10 AM   #13
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Heh, funny that a similar situation is occurring in the Spaceport.

From what I can tell, the same stuff has been happening to me to some extent, although things are looking brighter as I transition into the second year. I think El ET speaks the truth - the first year is probably always horrible. The problem now is, that I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to the second year of college, and so it isn't exactly sunshine valley for me yet.

Whatever the case, I have observed that you tend to get a lot of work done fast if you do it starting early in the morning and not stopping, even for a bite. Conversely, some guys with nocturnal biorhythms prefer late night as well. And that means everyone pretty much hates to study in the Afternoons/Evenings.

Procrastination runs through me as well, and the problem is most likely connected to the Internet now, because I'm keeping off writing, computer exploration, games, anime - stuff I enjoyed earlier off and just being stuck to my good ol' Firefox.

Can't give you much advice there since I'm in the same boat, but I'm listening to what the others say.


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Old 05-13-2008, 05:00 AM   #14
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Hire someone to hit you with a stick when you slack off.



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Old 05-13-2008, 10:45 AM   #15
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Someone say stick?!
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxStar
I sometimes physically unhook my cable modem from the wall when I need to concentrate because I'll find 1000 reasons to pitter around online, but never one to overcome my laziness of going up a flight of stairs and messing with a little jack in good conscience.
Same, I always end up browsing 4chan for hours whenever I have a paper due. :/


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Old 05-13-2008, 08:55 PM   #17
PR-0927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IG-64
I'm in the same boat with procrastination. I seriously cannot make myself do the work until the last second most of the time. This semester I was given over a month to do a research paper in an online class. I ended up doing it all on the last day and submitting it with 2 minutes left.

Word.

Self-discipline I have in certain aspects of life. Unfortunately, I can't ration some excess discipline to where it's needed.

Achilles, I've actually never seen people post anything about working together in groups for work - people just tend to talk to one another for that in class, but not so much in the big ones (unless you have previous acquaintances).

I'm gonna' admit that I already thought of the stick thing...

:P

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