How to organize your time in university

Faculty of Engineering
Student life
Student support

By your Engineering Mentors

Engineering mentoring centre (STE 1030), Faculty of Engineering

Two students studying on campus.
At the start of every term, most students (including me) come to their courses with high expectations. However, as a university student, it is sometimes hard to juggle your social life while also submitting assignments before the many deadlines that arise, one after another, as the term progresses. There are only so many hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a term, and if you don’t pay attention, the end of the term will arrive before you know it – catching you by surprise.

The first week of term 

I believe that the first week of the term is arguably one of the most important ones. Why? Because most professors take this time to present their course outlines and although many students use this as a chance to zone out, the course outline highlights the important dates and deadlines for assignments, midterms, and lab reports. Now that I’m aware of these dates, I immediately write them in my calendar. That way, even though I might forget about them, I have them written down on my jumbo calendar so I can prepare for these deadlines and avoid being surprised by them. 

Managing Your Time 

As the term progresses, you will find that assignments, midterms, and reports keep piling up. But don’t panic! If this is your first year in university, or if you’ve experienced a few rough terms in the past, the best way to reduce stress is to stay calm and manage your time effectively. 

Schedule and prioritize your time 

Whether you choose to set up a jumbo calendar or allocate blocks of time on your iPad, it is imperative that you effectively schedule each day. Want to go to the gym or hangout with friends, but need to study for a quiz in two days? Block off some time that day that you will dedicate to only studying for the quiz. That way, you’ll see whether you do have time for those extracurricular activities. Be sure to take your own personality into consideration: are you the type to procrastinate at home? Do you focus better in study groups? Are you a night owl or an early bird? You’ll need to take all these variables into account when you plan out your day.