Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of. Benjamin Franklin said this and he was right; but say this to any hosteller (especially a new hosteller), and they would wrinkle their pretty nose at you. Hostel life can be great fun once we get adjusted to it; and from there on having fun becomes a priority in life. No, no one is asking you not to have fun, but please for heavens sake do not forget your primary reason for being in that hostel. Yes, if I may remind you, it is to study. In fact most parents prefer putting their wards in hostels because it reduces travelling time and increases study time. These well meaning parents forget that most hostels are not the most conducive places for study. There are many distractions and unless one is disciplined and self-regulated, managing time may be a tad difficult for most youngsters.
However, not all youngsters are alike. If you are conscious of your life goals and mature enough to take responsibility of your life; then certainly you will remain focused, otherwise you need some support from outside (parents, friends, counselors etc). Here are some pointers from my book of life:
- Determine how you spend a typical week by keeping a record of all your activities. This will include time spent in classes, studying, sleeping, exercising, grooming, eating, relaxing, and socializing. Analyze this chart and review it.
- Work out your priorities. Each aspect of your daily routine is important but some aspects are more important than others.
- The quality of your study time is more important than the quantity. So create your study plan. Decide what to study, when to study, and how to study.
- Write down your objective for studying.
- Set your targets. Be protective of your study time from unwarranted intrusion. Manage your time effectively.
- Decide upon the subjects and topics you will cover during each study session. Include variety to stay interested in your studies.
- Analyze your strengths and your weaknesses with honesty. Pay more attention to the areas that you are strong in. This advice may defy common wisdom, but I believe in working on your strengths to strengthen yourself. This will improve your effectiveness.
- Review your previous study session at the start of a new session. This will keep you connected with your work and build up from there.
- As you progress with your course, evaluate how you are achieving your personal goals. Perhaps it is time to re-structure your study hours. - A good time to do this evaluation is during mid-semester.
Remember that studying at regular intervals through the year offers the best chance at success. Your study area, your capacities, and your ambition will finally determine your personal study plan. If you can proudly say, I plan my work and then I work my plan, you have found the perfect formula for success!!