Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

September 26, 2006 12:44 PM

Time Management Falls into Place

Suddenly, midterms are approaching. Quick! What to do? Study, of course.

But do you ever feel like all your studying efforts are not helping you for the exams? If so, ask yourself, “How do I study?” Do you study alone, with friends or classmates, in your room, in cafes, in libraries? At what times do you study? I recommend studying in different locations at different times with different people or solo. This will help you figure out where, when, and how you study most effectively. For me, I like to study certain subjects in certain libraries, and I like to be near windows. I like to study where I get a good vibe, man. I can relax and let myself become immersed in intellectual paradise. By finding a place where and a time when you can focus your energy on studying, you are managing your time effectively.

Another strategy to managing your time well is to FORGET ABOUT GRADES! Gee wiz, you competitive, cutthroat Berkeley maniacs! I implore you to forget about grades. That means don’t take the “easy” class for an “easy A”. Take the class that will fulfill your desire to obtain knowledge of something you are passionate about or have an interest in, or some curiosity for. For example, if you need to take R1B and you have a great interest in Celtic studies, which has nothing to do with you MEB major, take Celtic Studies RIB! Learn how to write papers properly and read neat stuff about the Emerald Isle, the myths, the legends—immerse yourself in another world, and then on you go to your Plant Biology 116 lecture to learn about the diversity of microbes. Indeed there is a diverse array of courses from which to choose at Berkeley. Take advantage of them and enrich your lives.

Finally, on a different note, but still related to time management, I would like to talk about majors. Now, ask youself, “What is my major, and why am I majoring in it?” Let us say I have a deep passion for physics, but I my math skills stink and the concepts of physics often evade me despite my attending office hours, careful studying, and so on. I make mediocre grades, and it is frustrating at times. But in spite of these things, I truly enjoy being in the physics major and learning about how the world around me functions from a physics perspective. Now let us say I graduate with a 2.0 GPA. At least I didn’t major in English, for example, to graduate with a 4.0. Even though reading literature and writing about it is like second nature (hypothetically speaking!), reading books without diagrams and charts really bores me, and I rely on lab sections for my social connections and my sanity. My point is major in something you love, so much so that you will want to study it, and then time management will fall into place. Have you ever considered majoring in Forestry and Natural Resources? Maybe you have no idea what it is. I didn’t. But I found out that forestry is my passion—and we go on cool field trips!

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