As much as we hate to admit it sometimes, we can’t all be Superman or Superwoman. Finding the time to get daily necessities done, as well as doing things just for pure enjoyment and relaxation, can be difficult. Here are some ways I multitask with my busy college schedule!

1. Work Out Between Loads of Laundry

Believe it or not, having to do your laundry can actually be a useful way to manage your time. Instead of being that one person who leaves their load in the washing machine for hours on end until you’re finally out of class, set a timer for each load that you do. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in a 30-45 minute load. Personally, it’s usually a toss-up between napping and working out, but I usually like to try to get a little exercise into my day which can be difficult when piles of homework are calling your name. Try splitting up your workout to give you plenty of time to get a few sets done and take a breather. I try to split my workout into sections and do legs during one load and abs during another!

2. Brew Your Coffee While You Get Ready

The simplest trick is the book is over-looked way too often! I can’t survive my 8:30 AM class without a hot cup of coffee, but it can be difficult to find time when you’re rushing to get there because you wanted to sleep late. Instead, make your coffee first and go about your daily routine. This will also give your coffee some time to cool off so it isn’t boiling when you go to take a sip!

3. Call Your Family While Walking To Class

That 15 minute walk across campus can really make a difference. It can be difficult to find the time to keep your family up to date on your life while being away at school, but a quick catch up here and there while walking to class can easily make your day and their day and fit into both of your schedules. It also makes the walk there a little less lonely!

4. Your Cell Phone’s Speaker Is Your New Best Friend

Whenever I’m in my dorm room eating takeout, cleaning, or doing homework, I’ll try to call or FaceTime a friend to catch up! It’s the easiest thing to do and is multitasking at its finest. Plus, if you don’t understand something on your homework you can ask away!

5. Review Notes While Catching Up On Your Favorite TV Show

We all dread that night of studying before the next-morning-quiz. To make it a little more bearable, try binge-watching that show you’ve been meaning to catch up on and review your notes at the same time. During breaks you can quiz yourself on what you just went over!

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Having a support system is invaluable. However, it is comforting to know that you could take care of yourself when you need to. This is an important idea, especially in the transitional time of college. College is when people usually move from home for the first time. It is also when you find out how much you have learned all those years at home.

I struggled with this concept a little bit myself. I did not learn to cook and do laundry until I was an adult. However, I did know how to do both by the time I moved out. I did not know how to drive at the time. It was troublesome being dependent on people to get around because you never know when their kindness or availability will run out. Once I had a final exam to get to but had no ride until the last possible moment. Had I missed it, I would have automatically failed the class even though I had gotten As in the course all semester. While classes only last a few weeks or months out of the year, mistakes in the real world can have more lasting consequences.

Independence comes with responsibility. That can be scary because the weight of bad choices is solely on you. Yet, we as people grow from our mistakes. It may hurt if you do something wrong, but if you remember how bad it feels, you likely won’t do it again. As time goes by, it is liberating to know what you are capable of.

We all become independent without consciously trying. We learn to walk so we do not have to be carried. We learn to write, read, and do math in school so it is almost effortless in our adulthood. We grow at different paces, but we are all heading to the same place. The best part is that once you can take care of yourself, you can be there for someone else.

You can manifest this plan in many ways. For example:

  1. Moving away. This demands that you take care of your own home. You are also managing yourself without constant parental supervision.
  2. Learn a skill. Be it cooking, cleaning, laundry, gardening, driving, or something else you need. Once you can do it, you do not have to wait for someone else to do it for you.
  3. Getting a job means you can make money. Even if you don’t know how to cook, you can afford to go out to eat. Getting a job also has the added responsibility of clients or coworkers being dependent on you to get your job done.

I hope these tips help inspire you to go after what you want and to better understand the value of independence. With effort and time, you will be capable of earning it.

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