Editorial | Awareness of time-management tools
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 01:09
As the fourth week of classes begins, students are becoming progressively busier. Professors expect students to have obtained their required books and materials by this point in the semester and are looking to hold more meaningful classes than the introductory lectures of the past few weeks — a shift reflected in the larger homework load many students are already experiencing. The sheer number of students in the reading room at Tisch Library on Sunday nights is a testament to that.
Now, fall sports are in full swing, and student athletes are feeling the strain of practices and games cutting into their homework time. With weekends devoted to cross country meets or away games, free time is a limited commodity for sporty Jumbos.
With GIM season coming to a close, clubs are solidifying their membership and encouraging students to commit to meetings, fundraisers and other events. Some of the 50-plus accepted students into this year’s EPIIC class, for example, who wanted to join Tufts’ New Initiative for Middle East Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine or Friends of Israel were forced to choose between one Middle East-oriented forum or another (or run the risk of sacrificing their grades in order to participate).
Add in the fear of missing out that has students going out with friends rather than staying home and hitting the books, and you have a recipe for overstressed, overcommitted students left to wonder what happened to those early September days of meeting up with old friends and having enough time to sit down and actually drink their coffee at The Rez.
With barely enough time to sleep, eat and bathe, students who also want to participate in important one-shot events such as the upcoming Career Fair might find that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that they want and need to do.
Unless you’ve met with a tutor at the Academic Resource Center (ARC) recently, you might not know that Tufts offers Time Management and Study Strategies (TM & SS) consulting. Tutors and mental health professionals are trained to direct any students who feel overcommitted or unsure of how to manage their schedules to this resource, but not many on the Hill seem to know that this service is available. A session with TM & SS can help students with problems such as motivation and self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses.
Although students should be proactive about searching out appropriate resources, the administration should also ensure that Jumbos are aware of — and taking advantage of — this service. It might be helpful for TM & SS counselors to set up a table at the Activities Fair to raise awareness about their services as students jot their names down on dozens of e-lists.
Additionally, although the ARC website states that consultants periodically present workshops to student groups on management and studying strategies, these workshops should be better advertised and open to any student who feels that he or she could benefit from TM & SS guidance. Some students may feel more comfortable in a group setting, compared to a one-on-one conversation, so these events should be held more often for all students.
Jumbos are encouraged to be active citizens both within and outside of the Tufts community. As a result, the administration needs to make certain that students know about the resources that are available to help them manage their growing lists of responsibilities during these transitional times.