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Calling all who successfully manage a busy schedule!

  1. Aug 21, 2011 #1
    I'm shooting for all A's this semester.

    I'll be tutoring chemistry 4 hours a week, tutoring calculus 4 hours a week, working in a lab 15 hours a week, and taking 15 credit hours (Organic chemistry & lab, chemical engineering - processes, ODEs, and economics). My classes are spread out throughout the day, so the only large chunks of time I have are after 7 p.m. I'm also living on-campus, so I'm going to try not doing much homework in the dorm room.

    I've never been this busy before. I hope to be able to handle all of this relatively stress-free and still have free time on the weekends. I'm planning on devoting at least one hour a day to studying/homework for each class (except econ...maybe 1 hour a week for that).

    I hope by staying organized and on top of everything [something I struggled with when I had lots of free time last year], I'll be able to get good grades and do well in my research project (my first experience with research).

    I know many of you all here have even more hectic of a schedule than I do. I'd like to know if you have any tips to share to obtain good grades, good work performance, and a good social life.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2011 #2
    pick one, maybe two.
  4. Aug 21, 2011 #3
    Is it common to have the first two during the week, and the last one on the weekends? I was thinking I could probably work 4-5 hours a day on homework on both Sat. and Sun., then enjoy the rest of the day/night.
  5. Aug 21, 2011 #4
    Learn how to produce industrial quantities of http://www.rough-equivalents.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/caffeine_molecule.jpg [Broken] at home and slip it into all of your beverages.

    In all seriousness, I fully agree with streeters. You can't have it all IMO. Maybe you can handle it, but it depends on how efficiently you study/habits/etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Aug 21, 2011 #5
    Lol, I spent the last three weeks combating my caffeine addiction. ^_^

    Is it time for one of those "pro-cons" lists? I was hoping to hear that other slightly gifted students were able to balance and succeed at everything. I didn't have a job or research last semester, so I didn't manage time well (waited until last minute for everything, because I could...)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Aug 21, 2011 #6
    To be fair, if your ODE class is a cookbook class, it'll probably be pretty easy. I think you can manage some kind of mild social life while maintaining good grades and decent work performance. What I'm more worried about is you tearing your hair out in frustration at the calculus students' inevitable dumb questions.

    "I don't understand how to differentiate this."

    *shows function: cos^2(x)*

    "DUDE! Use the damn chain rule! Ferchristssakes!"

    (I'm guilty of being that student)
  8. Aug 21, 2011 #7
    Think of school has a 9-5 type of job. or, in your case, x-7pm job. Many folks do it once they enter the real world, may as well get good practice now.
  9. Aug 21, 2011 #8
    I have quite the schedule as well this semester. I'm excited about it though because its pretty much all the classes I want to be taking. I think its important to have a social time set aside from all that studying. The trick is to find friends who also have busy schedules and good habits. All in balance, good luck to you.
  10. Aug 21, 2011 #9
    This. This works well. You even get weekends off.
  11. Aug 21, 2011 #10
    Lol. I'm sorry but I can't see this being true for any serious university student.
  12. Aug 21, 2011 #11
    Haha, now I remember why I never attended sophmore level math classes.

    You may be able to find some free time if you can do some seriously efficient time management.
  13. Aug 21, 2011 #12
    You can find tips and ideas on how to manage your time by reading Cal Newport's blog called StudyHacks
  14. Aug 22, 2011 #13
    Papa needs his weekends, baby. Football won't watch itself.
  15. Aug 22, 2011 #14
    If you study for 10 hours a day, tutor four 4 hours a day, sleep for 5 hours a day, spend the last 3 hours a day on eating going to the bathroom exercising attending lectures and you should be set...

    10 should be enough but you may have to get up to like 12 or 14 hours of study and cut back to 3 hours of sleep... if I get anything less than 2 I fall asleep during the day and suffer as a result... if i get at least 2 I can function normally without major side effects before crashing maybe 12 hours hours later... and on the weekends try and get like 6 hours of sleep if you can

    I also find caffeine pills to hit the spot when you need the energy... you can get them cheaply at places for like 8 bucks and most of the time it's the equivalent of taking 2 cups of coffee 200 mg of caffeine, they normally give me an extra 5 hours of being awake and alert, only take one every 3 to 4 hours, I can't stress this enough, you don't want to OD on caffeine pills because your heart will give out, take only 1 every 3 to 4 hours and your safe, but make sure you read the directions, each type is different, the only thing you would have to worry about if you took one every 3 to 4 hours and just kept on repeating this is that if you did so over 5 days, once you deprive your body of sleep for 5 days your body starts to shut down, be careful of going longer than 5 days without sleep, doing so can permanently harm you, anything else should be safe but do unless you have to, I haven't gone more than 35 hours without sleep and don't plan on doing so anytime soon
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  16. Aug 22, 2011 #15
    Wow...this is really bad advice.
  17. Aug 22, 2011 #16
    LOL. We really need a like button.
  18. Aug 22, 2011 #17
    I'm not saying it's a good thing to do lol... just that it works for me
  19. Aug 22, 2011 #18
    The last few years I have been in a similar situation: tutoring math and physics about 20 hours a week while attending school full time. Every quarter I had to adjust my work and school hours, but like your schedule, mine was pretty sporadic leaving me only small time intervals to complete my work throughout the day. This actually turned out to be a nice thing as it forced me to manage my time more effectively.

    I would suggest keeping your work with you and completing as much as possible during these short periods in between work and class. Also try and remain comfortable, it's a long day and if you need a break then take one, eat something, etc.

    Doing this should considerably lighten your load for the evening. Personally I don't really like to work/school all day then come home and do more homework. By completing various pieces throughout the day I was able to complete the remainder during weekend mornings while pretty much leaving me evenings and weekends free.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  20. Aug 22, 2011 #19


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    Before the semmester starts, find someone who has at least two children, preferably under the ages of 4 and convince them to let you babysit for an entire week.

    At the end of this exercise, you will become accutely aware of every minute of time you have and should have no trouble managing your own individual schedule.
  21. Aug 23, 2011 #20
    I thought I was busy until I read your post Null_ :). ODE's are really not difficult...I wish I would have realised that before the semester came so close to an end -_-

    The only thing I would recommend is to get some activity you enjoy in, and take an actual break during winter break so you are refreshed for spring.
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