By Hunter Wallace, Chattanooga Chapter Student Ambassador
As many students quickly learn, time management in college can be a tricky skill to master. Finding that perfect balance between work, school and their various organizations may take some students more time than others. It is crucial to maintain a high GPA in college, but that is not the only task expected of you. Coursework is only a component of college; involvement is a large factor in what will make you stick out as you begin to apply for internships, and even careers. Most recruiters not only look at your GPA throughout college, but they also look at what you did apart from school. They look at what organizations you were involved in, whether you had a job, performed community service, what leadership roles you held and many more extracurricular activities that a well-rounded college student should be taking part in. Joining Accounting clubs and organizations at your college are also a great way to stand out to an employer and show your dedication and interest in the field.
Learn to maintain balance. It is the balance of juggling numerous activities that makes you stand out. Juggling too many activities, however, can lead to a burnout and a lack of attention to each one. Participating in too many roles at one time takes away from your commitment to all of them. Take on only what you know you can handle so you can not only perform each role but succeed in each role. No single task should overshadow the rest.
Aside from leadership roles and organization participation, make sure you do not let your coursework sit on the back burner. While being in organizations and clubs help enhance your college experience, you are ultimately enrolled to learn. Studying hard allows you to gain the knowledge you need to succeed in your chosen career field. Try to establish a weekly schedule ahead of time to keep your days more organized and ensure that nothing gets lost in the dust. Keeping your week organized allows you to make sure you dedicate enough time to each of your tasks without ignoring any of them.
You should even be sure to schedule in some time for yourself. It is important not to overwork yourself or get in too far over your head. Taking care of yourself is important to make sure that your brain and body are in the right shape to succeed. Instead of cramming all night for a test, try going to sleep a little earlier and wake up to finish studying early in the morning. Many students would be surprised what a full night of rest can do for their productivity.
You may need to tweak your schedule as you find out which of your tasks are more time consuming, but that is just part of the process of finding your balance. Certain tasks may take more time for some than others to complete, and that is okay. Finding balance is trial and error. If you find yourself struggling, take a step back and prioritize. If your organizations are taking away from your ability to study, then you might have taken on too many roles at once. Take more time to devote to studying. Give it a little time, and you are sure to find a balance that works for you. Participating in as much as you can helps make you a well-rounded student, and balancing it all assists in making you as appealing as possible to a potential employer.