All the technology we have today can feel so overpowering at times. Keeping up with our social media sites in and of itself can feel like a job, and becomes a time sucker gulping up hours a day. More pointedly, technology has made life for us both, much easier, yet at the same time harder. It’s quite the conundrum.
Take the average college student; with constant connectivity, students can simply email professors with questions as opposed to setting up appointments, create Google Groups for classmates to collaborate on group projects more quickly and efficiently, assignments can be submitted online, and the list goes on and on.
While technology has made communication and access to information for students exponentially easier, I feel as though expectations have risen as well, and at much the same speed. More is expected of the average student because more tools have been given to them. This means more assignments that have upped the requirements, deadlines have been shortened significantly, etc. And why is it that every professor acts like you’re only taking that one class and therefore must live and breathe it?
There comes a point when it can all feel so overwhelming, especially when exam time comes around (always much too quickly). Half the time we feel like we’re sprinting to catch that finish line that keeps moving further and further away. Here’s the thing though, we can complain until we are blue in the face…but it will never change. What every student has to realize, and does realize at some point, is that you just have to live with it, and alter your own behavior to somehow get out alive. In my experience, it is all about managing your technology.
I once ran an experiment as part of an assignment for one of my psychology classes. I sat on a bench and just tallied people walking by sorting by those using smartphones and those not. It was astounding to observe just how many people were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, frantically typing away on a phone! After that I started to notice just how much I was doing much the same thing - and a lot.
Getting down to the nitty gritty: As a college student, how do you manage all of your incoming information, deadlines, and social life without letting your technology you? Here are a few tips on how to utilize your technology to your complete advantage and manage your life using it as opposed to just letting it control you.
#1: Learn to manage your time.
You’re a college student. This means that by the time your first year is up, you’ve likely already become a pro at budgeting your money, and stretching your every dollar. Treat your time the same way. It is valuable! Even though you’re attached to your smartphone and think that checking that one post you’re tagged in will only take a second – boom! 10 minutes later you realize you got lost in your Newsfeed once again. Create a schedule for yourself on when you will set aside time for social media – the rest of the day, stay logged off. I know it sounds insane, but you’ll find yourself some extra hours during the day with that minor change. You’ll also realize that once you get logged back onto your Facebook during that certain time of day you choose, it’ll take you all of 15 minutes to get completely caught up on who went to the gym when and how many selfies Jessica posted today (probably too many).
#2 Actual face time.
Another thing I’d like to mention is, YES please do use your technology. It’s non-negotiable, you must. But also make time to meet with people in person. Group projects – make that Google group, but also make time to meet up with that group. Even if it is for a short hour, you won’t believe how much more productive you'll all be in that hour. You usually end up getting a lot more done faster, and you will be surprised at the new ideas that can spawn out of your simple group conversations.
Something else I urge you to do as a student is meet up with your professors at least once to introduce yourself. After that the professor will have more respect for you as a student, seeing your drive to be a part of the class and succeed. Professors usually email those students more often when they feel they've missed something or have fallen behind and more often than not, want to help them!
#3 Do NOT neglect your email.
In college, email is so important. It is how most professors communicate important updates to their students, send out review sheets, make changes to assignments, send out due date change notifications, and class cancellations. During my freshman year, I drove all the way to campus countless times just to see that big sign plastered on the door: “Class Cancelled”. After the fifth or sixth time, I started checking my email before classes. Then, probably twice I completed an assignment only to find out later that it had been cancelled too. Yeah, I started making me emails pop up as push notifications after that. I guess I am one of those people who has to learn my lesson 10 times before I actually learn my lesson. Go figure. Just learn from my mistakes and take my advice on this one.
#4 Take time offline.
Since we are on our phones all day, every day, it is good to set aside at least an hour a day away from it all (by that I mean ALL technology). Do something fun that doesn’t require online connectivity. It is pretty therapeutic and a good way to reset.
#5 Use your tools.
Technology is amazing – use it’s tools to your advantage. With all the mayhem going on in your day to day life, you can use reminders. You’re on the phone all the time anyway – use the calendar to send reminders and keep you on track!!
I hope these little tips help you manage all the fun of college! I must say, I miss those days already and it’s been less than a year still! Something I learned though is to use all the tools that are presented to you. For instance, portable batteries. While I was in college, I was a full-time student, a dancer and had two jobs. I’m not the only one in college who was constantly on the move; portable batteries keep your devices powered up and ready to use all day! Here at Juno Power we make them high in quality, and quite affordable even for the struggling college student. Check out this link to our website or check us out on Amazon and you’ll see that I’m not bluffing!