Oberlin Blogs

Time Management at Oberlin

December 6, 2019

Tim Martin ’22

As a student-athlete at Oberlin College, it is important to learn time management early on. Personally, I play football at the college, as well as run track. Football is the most time-consuming sport of them all as it consists of a two to three hour practice, a lunchtime meeting, and a 45 minute lift; that is just a Wednesday. On top of that, you have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to go to practice, so if you don't rest the night before you may be drowsy throughout the next day. What I discovered freshman year is taking a midday nap can help you immensely when it comes to getting work done. It will refresh your mind and allow you to be more productive when you start to do work. 

In terms of studying for classes, a great thing to do is look at your notes to reinforce the concepts you learned in class as soon as you get out of said class. Oftentimes students will have hour-long gaps between classes and choose to waste the time looking at their phone, but using this time to study will benefit you in the long run. Oberlin provides a top-notch education and requires top-notch studying skills. If you try to wait until the night before to study for your exam you typically won't do well on the exam. The great thing is Oberlin will provide great resources for you such as Owls, which is a program where older students that already took and did well in the class you are in will hold sessions to go over the material covered during the week. Also, a tutor is available to every student at their request for free. Another great resource is the writing center which is a student-run help center that will assist you in improving any paper that you write and also develop your writing skills. With all of these resources, there is no reason a person shouldn't be able to achieve whatever they consider academic success. 

The time of day I usually do my work is a little in the afternoon and also at night after dinner. I like to spend Friday nights at Mudd to get ahead on work and study for tests that are coming up. It is crucial to find a balance between attending fun activities and doing school work. I don't feel it is possible to attend every event you wish to go to. I often find myself doing a cost-benefit analysis. In other words, is the time I spend at the event worth the sleep or studying time I'm going to lose? If I decide it is not worth it, I do not go to the activity and do schoolwork or sleep instead. It is also important to know who you can study and be productive with. The most important part about studying is actually studying, so if you are not getting work done because you are talking too much you should consider finding another study partner or studying on your own. 

If you are an athlete there will be programs in place to make sure you are staying on track academically. An example of this is what the football team calls "Team 3.0." The goal of Team 3.0 is to have every player on the football team have at least a 3.0 GPA. The football program tries to accomplish this by having weekly meetings with our position coaches to speak about our course load and plan out what we have to do to manage the work. Speakers from the Academic Resource Center also come in and give a presentation of the resources available to us to achieve success not only while in school but also when we graduate.

School will never be a breeze no matter who you are, but I feel that Oberlin provides resources that will help accomplish all academic goals. Also, if you find yourself in a situation where you are utilizing all of these resources and still aren't finding success and are feeling down, you should go to the counseling center and talk to them about how you are feeling. Grades are important, sports are important, but what is most important is your mental health. Hopefully, this time management and resource guide can help reduce the stress of those who take its advice.

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