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Managing Your Life in College




Handouts of the personal budget sheet and the responsibilities you will encounter as a college student


Allows students to discuss how they plan to manage their lives in college.  Begin with a class discussion, and then have students independently work on the “personal budget”


The life of a college student can be very hectic!  If you are a freshman or a transfer student, you may have many new challenges in your life, such as meeting new people, living in a new place, experiencing a new sense of independence, and getting used to an entirely new way of life.  Many college students also find that they have a difficult time managing the different areas of their life, like classes, work, student activities, and a social life!

Right now you may be feeling extremely overwhelmed. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do it ALL?”  When you stop and think about it, you may realize that you can’t do everything you want to do!  Many things may require a great deal more time and energy than you have to give. 

So what do you do? You still have to go to class.  You need to study and do your homework.  You may have to work to help put yourself through school.  Are you supposed to resign yourself to the fact that you simply won’t see your friends, have a social life, or do anything you like? Should you come to the conclusion that you will only allow yourself 4 hours of sleep a night? NO!


What you need to do is take inventory, prioritize, and by all means make time for yourself! Take a look at the list below of various responsibilities that you may encounter as a college student.

School- As a college student, your focus right now should be on your learning.  Which means classes and studying are a high priority!  
Work- Many of you may also be holding down a job. You may be considering giving it up for the semester, or cutting back your hours. You need to decide if those options are economically feasible.

Roommates- As you know by now, living with other people isn’t always easy. It may get more difficult as an upper classman and your schedule varies greatly from your roommates. You may need to discuss some “house” rules regarding your free time and let your roommates know that it doesn’t mean you don’t like them if you decide to go to the library instead of hanging out.

Family- What are your responsibilities to your family at this time? How flexible are they? Are they supportive of your college experience?  You may need to discuss with your family that it might be more beneficial to you, if you talked on the phone every Sunday, instead of every day.

Partners- If you are a new freshman or transfer student, your relationship with your significant other may change as you begin your new college experience.  If you met your significant other at college, is he/she supportive or understanding of your time schedule?  Include them in what happens in your life, but don’t inundate them. Remember they have a life they want to discuss with you too and may be just as busy.

Friends- Also have expectations placed on you. You may find that you can’t see everyone and do everything you would like to do.  Spend time with your closest friends.  Think of how your friends vary in regard to the demands and amount of time they expect of you.
You!- Don’t forget about yourself!  How much time will you spend taking care of yourself and doing things you enjoy (hobbies, exercise, student activities, recreation)?  Don’t forget about important things like eating, sleeping, laundry, showering, etc!  You may need to cut down on some of your hobbies, recreation, and extracurricular activities, but don’t exclude them all.

Your Personal Budget Make a list of all the people and activities you will be committed to this semester. Include taking care of yourself, eating, sleeping, exercising, and commitments. Make an estimate of how much time each week you will devote to each one. Finally add up the time. If you exceed 168 hours, you are over the limit—there is literally no more time left in the week. 

Campus Resources in Self-Management There are people on campus who can help you better manage your time and help you to plan a time management schedule.

Academic Enhancement Center    
Roosevelt Hall 4th floor, Call 874-2953
Go to workshops on time management and creating a study schedule

Writing Center

Roosevelt Hall 4th Floor, Call 874-4690
Get help creating a timeline for writing a paper


Can help you to prepare a study schedule for their class

URI 101 Mentor

Your mentor can assist you with various areas of time management and refer you to other campus resources


What do you plan on doing?
Where should you cut back?
What absolutely can’t be changed or altered?
What are your priorities?

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