Finding the perfect balance between academic responsibility, social activities, and personal goal as a student can feel like a never-ending struggle. Having a social life and still having leftover time to enjoy personal pleasure such as social media or Netflix seems impossible at times.

Sadly, the desire to accommodate an additional task is often hindered by constraints due to mismanagement of one’s time and schedule. Some students find it really hard to maintain balance over their academic work; they oftentimes complain of a busy schedule and not having time for themselves without creating the time. This could be due to too much activities apart from classes, side hustle or business.

Nowadays, skills acquisition like hair-styling, tailoring, catering and many more are learnt by students to sustain themselves. Those that don’t have these skills look for other means like modelling to support themselves. But juggling school work and skills can be quite difficult.

The Nigerian Observer interacted with some students who shared their personal experiences struggling with time management in school. Here are their views:

Blessing Okhueleigbe (300 level student)

“As a student, I’m occupied with classes most of the times. I attend those classes and go for modelling jobs on days I don’t have classes. I also am a hairstylist. I make use of Saturdays and Sundays to make different hairstyles. In all, merging all these is not so easy, but with hard work and consistency I’ve been able to pull through.”

Tracy (300 level student)

“I manage my time by being very disciplined. Depending on my school schedule, I readjust how I spend my time. For instance, if my schedule is saying I would have to do a lot of school-related work in the afternoon, I will make sure that all my activities for the day would be done in the morning before time for school because I hate missing classes. Whenever I miss classes I find it difficult to understand what the lecturer has taught, so it’s very important to me. Depending on the deadline of the work I have, I work late into the night, try and wake up and get sleep later after I am done with classes. I hate procrastinating because it gets too much and I won’t be able to finish it. And for school, if I procrastinate, exams would meet me and I won’t be able to do anything about it. My work time is very flexible, so I cannot say my schedule is same with the person doing a part-time job in school but I still have some certain struggle and I usually have a hard time deciding either to go to class or work. Most of the time I choose to go to class but there are few times when the work is too urgent, I would take off some time, do the work and complete the work, then cover up the class later.”

Naomi Ewansiha (300 level student)

“Aside from being a student, I have engaged myself in different extra-curricula activities right from my 100 level days and I had difficulty managing them to the extent that my educational life was dying if I didn’t learn to balance everything. First, I involved myself in MACSA Ekehuan Watch where I was the PRO, Student Academy Consultancy (SAC) where I was the Financial Secretary, the Nigerian Red Cross Society where I became the Assistant Secretary, the Parliament where I became an honorable. So all these things ate into my time as a student because I was always in a meeting. There were sometimes when I had a meeting in the MACSA Ekehuan Watch where I eventually became the Subeditor and I would also have online meetings and classes at the same time. I had to say no to the less important to be able to attend classes.”

Mary Ene (300 level student)

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“Classes are the reason why I’m in school, so my business is subordinate if it clashes with classes. I have an online business of selling clothes and I also have trained dispatch riders who help in delivering them to the customers while I’m in class; this is like the most important part of my business to me. Most times I try to manage the little time I have before going to class to organize the goods, number them, and send them to the rider who distributes them. After that, I post on my WhatsApp status. When I have an early morning class by 7, I wake up earlier by 5 to organize the business of the day, call riders to inform them of the activities of the day, then proceed to my morning class.”

Time management

It is imperative to note that if a person wants a productive day, he or she should learn the principles of time management. While some people are able to forge through the day, sustaining focus and achieving goals, time management remains a challenge for many. Fortunately, productivity doesn’t just happen to some people, it involves acquiring a set of skills that can be learnt by anyone.

Prioritize tasks

Start by identifying and prioritizing your tasks, taking into account their urgency and order of importance to effectively manage your time. Create a to-do list of all the important assignment to be done and always keep to deadline. Set realistic goals and try as much as possible to follow them.

Know when to say no

Though participating in different activities is crucial, it’s equally vital to acknowledge your limit. Say no when taking on more commitment could endanger your achievement or personal well-being. Achieving balance involves making thoughtful choices that go with your priorities.

Stop procrastinating

People and students should learn how to stop procrastinating. Avoid it by breaking larger task into smaller and easier ones. When there is a work on ground, do it immediately and don’t wait or allow laziness to creep in. Laziness is a root cause of procrastination and it needs to be treated seriously.

Mastering of time is a key to striking a harmonious balance between life responsibility and ensuring a successful and fulfilling journey as a student.