Poor planning and bad time management are often part of the learning experience for many new students in college. For others, however, poor planning becomes a habit. The consequences of putting that paper off, not turning in your work on time, and missing key deadlines, however, can be much more of a problem than you might initially think.
Things May Get Expensive
If you miss housing deadlines, incur late registration fees, or apply too late to get priority when your school is allocating financial aid, things can quickly become even more expensive than normal. Having good time-management skills can help you avoid costly mistakes later.
Things Can Become Harder Logistically
If you think studying for your Spanish final is a pain, wait until you see what happens if you don’t pass it/sleep through it/generally don’t plan for it. Flunking even one test or exam can create a host of problems, including failing your college class, which will initiate a checklist of difficult steps you’ll need to take to get back on track academically.
That amazing study abroad program, spring break trip, and summer internship all have deadlines for a reason. If you apply too late or don’t have everything you need ready in time, you’ll miss out on what could have been the experience of a lifetime.
People who you think don’t notice your frequent lack of planning and lateness may, in fact, notice more than you realize. When your favorite professor is trying to think of students for an awesome summer research opportunity, you might get passed over because she knows you won’t be organized and ready to go when needed. Keeping your schedule balanced and your time managed may open doors you don’t even realize are there.
Not sure if you have poor planning skills? Ask yourself to remember the last time you felt ahead of the game. If it wasn’t recently, chances are you’re constantly feeling behind—because you are. Bad time-management skills mean you are always playing catch-up and experiencing stress. And with all that’s going on in your college life, why add more stress to the mix?
No ‘Self-Care’ Time
On the subject of feeling stressed, you can fall into that unfortunate state by failing to schedule regular times for yourself—to recharge, to reenergize, to relax, and even to sleep enough. Lack of proper time management means you won’t have a plan to slot in regular sessions for yourself. Yet, you need time to do simple things like stretching, going for a bike ride, cleaning your room or even your desk, dancing, going for a walk, or socializing with friends.
Indeed, California College San Diego notes that creating “me” time—time for your own self-care—is a key component of college success. Failing to schedule regular time for yourself can actually decrease your chances of succeeding in school and certainly for feeling good about yourself, says the college, and carving out such regular time starts and ends with good time management.