Posted: December 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm
By Joe Mitchin, Ryan Fadus and Dan Ingham
MORGANTOWN, W. Va.- At 10:25 a.m., Kevin White ran off the bus, dodging students like he was dodging defenders on the field, hustling for the doors of the Business and Economics building. His Econ 202 test would start in five minutes.
One of the hardest things for college students to learn is time management, especially students who are juggling athletics, jobs and internships. Time management is significant when it comes to managing your priorities while getting an education. Learning how to balance both school and your outside personal life is something every college student needs to learn quickly.
White, a wide receiver on the West Virginia University football team, has learned what it is like to manage time. College athletics demands that you consume most of your time practicing and perfecting your craft in the sport you play.
“If you have a test you have to find time to study for your test and study for your opponent,” White said.
White doesn’t have much time for anything except football during the regular season.
“On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I lift at 6:30 a.m. and then go to three straight classes. After that I eat, go to practice and then watch film. There’s only about two hours for me to do my school work at night. I go to sleep around 10:30 p.m. and wake up and do it all again.”
Eric Minor, director of student careers and opportunities at WVU’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism, has created ways for students to deal with the issue of time management. Minor has educated students on managing time and has preached that it is all about organization and doing the simple things.
“As journalists and strategic communicators, we live and die by the deadline. If we don’t learn good time management skills as students, we will struggle in the ‘real world.’ Learning to manage your time is not optional. It’s essential,” Minor said.
Minor explained what he does to manage time and the advice he gives students on how to manage time differently.
“As elementary as it sounds, calendars are the key,” Minor said. “I have an electronic calendar on my iPhone, but I prefer to sketch out my entire week on a grid that allows me to see at a glance just how much time there really is. First, I sketch in the things that are inflexible. Once you’ve put the immovable things into your calendar, you’ll be surprised by how much white space is left. Then it becomes an exercise in budgeting. We’d all like to have unlimited time and money, but we don’t. Just like we have to balance our bank accounts, we can’t overdraw on time. If we treat our calendars like we treat our bank accounts, we can become smarter about how we spend it.”
Walking up and down the aisle with the hangers rattling inside, Daniel Sakel picked up every piece of clothing that lay on the plain white floor and brought it to its correct section to hang it up.
College athletics isn’t the only thing that adds to the stress of college students. Students who don’t play sports mostly work off-campus jobs in order to afford the day-to-day necessities of living away from home. Daniel Sakel, a senior at WVU, has been working at Gabriel Brothers for two years now and faces very similar challenges that White does.
“I have work 3 to 11 p.m. four nights out of the week. Most of the time I have to wake up at 6 a.m. before my morning classes to get my school work done for the day,” Sakel said.
Sakel added that he works overnights shifts twice a month and sometimes goes more than 24 hours without sleeping.
“It’s just a part of the grind that college demands. In order for me to afford an education from WVU this is what I have to do,” Sakel said.
WVU costs students between $23,000 and $30,000 in tuition and fees a year. This leaves students with no choice but to get a job to support themselves throughout their time at college.
“College is the toughest four-year grind of your life. You just have to stay on your path and learn what really matters in life. Make the important things your top priorities,” Sakel stated.
Mikey Barberi is a senior at West Virginia coach the men’s lacrosse team while being a fulltime student.
“It’s tough sometimes. Not only do we practice four times a week but I have to set up the schedule, the hotels, the traveling situation, contact the players professors all while I am taking 17 credits.” Barberi stated.
Barberi played on the team last year and now knows how much time and effort goes into coaching a college team.
“It’s a lot tougher than I thought. It’s very time consuming setting up the practice schedules, the drills and everything that goes into having success as a team,” he added.
Minor said the worst thing students can do is assume they don’t have enough time to do what they need to do.
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed and then get paralyzed by fear,” Minor said. “But by doing that, you’re ceding control over your life. Time is a weird thing—almost spongy. Sometimes it seems like 5 minutes is an eternity. Other times it feels like seconds. But if we use calendars to look objectively at time—in a series of boxes representing days or 30 minute increments, we get a much more objective—and more journalistic view of time. If you can sketch out your calendar and every single box is filled, then you are, quite honestly, out of time. And you have to prioritize. You have to edit. But if you have hidden scraps of time in that calendar that you didn’t even know you were wasting, it’s like finding $20 in your pocket when you’re folding the laundry.”