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Time management key for student success

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BELLEVILLE, Ont. (16/01/12) - Pre-health student Cheyenne Snider browses on Facebook at Loyalist College on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. Most students procrastinate by going on social network websites and/or watching television. Photo by Manuela Garay-Giraldo.

By Manuela Garay-Giraldo

It’s that time of the year again, the holiday headspace is out and school is in.

It is time to study… right after watching that funny video on YouTube that your friend posted on your Facebook wall.

Suddenly a two-minute video has turned into a funny video marathon lasting an hour… or two.

According to Debra O’Shaughnessy, a student success mentor at Loyalist College, procrastination and poor class attendance are the most common reasons students are not successful in their studies.

“Procrastination is a big issue for students,” said O’Shaughnessy. “They just think they have more time than they actually do.”

“Especially for kids coming out of high school, they are used to longer semesters, but we only have 16 weeks,” said O’Shaughnessy.

So what can be done to improve? O’Shaughnessy said that the most important tip she can give is that every student should use some sort of time management tool, such as a day planner, a notebook with to-do lists or even a cellphone. The latter is recommended for students who already are good time managers, and O’Shaughnessy believes that writing things down on paper is a more effective method for most people.

Environmental science student Kalvin Marshall said his motivation to keep on track and to do all his schoolwork is to look at his past.

“I just think about the past and I know that if I don’t want to go back there, if I want to get a good job that pays more than $10 an hour, then I have to put effort into doing my schoolwork on time,” said Marshall.

A biotechnology student, Hower Blair, agreed.

“I took some time off to really think about what I wanted to do with my life, and I finally found something that I really love. So I don’t want to mess this up,” he said.

Both students said that generally they leave their assignments to the last possible minute, which adds unnecessary stress.

O’Shaughnessy said another tip is to set goals to finish assignments well in advance of their due date. This way, when life happens, and another funny video finds its way to you, you actually have time to enjoy it.

Rebecca Lazar, a counsellor at Loyalist College, said “there are several resources for students, but sometimes students don’t come because they feel embarrassed.

“What you need to know is that if you are facing an issue, there are many others who have gone through what you’re going through, and coming to speak to a counsellor can make things easier,” Lazar said.

At Loyalist College, there are counsellors, mind and wellness services, student success mentors, an international centre, academic centre for testing, grocery services, disability services, peer tutoring and an academic skills centre.

To connect with any of the above, go to the student success hub in room 2H4 or call 613-969-1913 ext. 2519.

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