Recently one of my clients called me for our scheduled session, and she was poolside in a bathing suit on a Tuesday afternoon. I asked her how she was spending her day before her 6 PM class, and she said, “I don’t have anything due tomorrow. I have an exam on Friday. I’m good.” This is a pretty typical response from most students who don’t have anything pressing due the next day. And while I’m all for downtime, here is the truth: College is a full-time job. This means putting in a full 8 hours, every day. It’s the only job a college student has. Go to class, study, get good grades, wash and repeat.

One of the first big shifts a student must make academically when adjusting from high school to college life is managing the time they have available to them. Shifting from being in class all day in high school to maybe only having 2 hours of class in a day can feel like freedom. It often becomes an afternoon poolside when you don’t have anything pressing due. But here is the real deal. The most successful students are the ones who put in a full 8 hours, even when they have nothing due the next day. So, 2 hours of class means 6 hours of hitting the books. Or 15 hours of class a week means 25 hours of studying a week. Sticking to that basic formula will lead to so much academic success in college. When you throw weekends in the mix, there is still a ton of time on the table to catch some rays.

The key to implementing this formula is knowing how to schedule a productive week. I’m a huge fan of spending a little time on Sunday mornings for planning. What this really means is looking ahead 2 or more weeks to see what is coming down the pipe. Learning to get in front of the long-term projects or future exams ahead of time by scheduling reading, chapter reviews, or research is a winning strategy. On those days when there isn’t anything due “tomorrow”, start reviewing your notes for your exam next week. Begin researching for the end-of-the-semester paper that will be here before you know it. Read the chapter on polar covalent bonds before your organic chem lecture this week. Putting in a full 8 hours will change your life. I promise.

Heck, you can even do these things in a bathing suit, poolside.

Investing in your college student’s well-being and success now can pay off in the long run.
By helping them address any challenges or issues early on, you can set them up for a successful college experience and a bright future.

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