The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome as a college student, I believe, has to be time management. College life, academically, is much different from high school. In high school, my teachers gave assignments that could be completed in class. I know for a fact that once the teacher explained the information, she assigned homework; however, she also gave enough time to start the work. So when the homework was given, if I understood it, I would be able to complete it before the end of the class period.

After a long week of school, I always found the time to have fun. I can remember writing notes to my best friend between classes and asking her what was on the agenda for the weekend. I had to make an appearance at every football and basketball game. I would be at every party, even if it meant sneaking out of the house. In high school, homework was important, but it really was not imperative.

There are so many parties to go to in college. Everyone wants to have a party. Everyone wants to have fun. My freshman year in college was all about parties. I wanted to know what party was going to be the best and who was throwing the party.

Therefore, with that type of mindset, I struggled with my assignments. The importance of managing my time didn’t hit me until the end of my fall semester as a sophomore. I thought my grade point average would not be high enough for me to keep my academic scholarship. I remember crying in the office of one of my professors. I can also recall having to do extra credit assignments in some of my other classes.

During my first two years, I thought I had all the time in the world to do my assignments. I felt that the professors had to wait on me. Can you believe that? I really thought that they would not go on without my permission. When I found out that I could possibly lose my scholarship, I thought I would die. I could not sleep or eat until I found out my grades. However, things turned out for best; I didn’t fail any of my classes. I also kept my scholarship. From that time forward, my priorities have changed dramatically. That experience I encountered my second year in college proved to be a refreshing eye opener.

I immediately began to rectify my situation by making changes in my life. I started taking advantage of all of my free time to do homework and study. I started carrying a planner to write down everything that meant anything. I had to condition myself to study on the weekends. I know now that the parties can wait, because graduating is more important. I look on the bright side of things when I’m stuck on the weekend doing homework. I just tell myself that there’s always next weekend!

Belinda is a junior majoring in public relations at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. She is a native of West Palm Beach, Florida.

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