Working college students have it tough. Not only do they have to spend time hitting the books, they may have to spend up to forty hours a week working a job. If you are in this situation, there are free resources available to you to "hack" your way into effective management of your occupation and education. Below are 4 tools and resources that you can use to manage your time and college course work. Each semester where you take classes and work a job will be difficult, but not impossible.
At the beginning of every semester, you will receive a syllabus for every single class. Most every syllabus will have some type of schedule of the various tests, exams, papers, and projects that will be due for the next few months. You do not want to schedule your time off these sheets of paper. You must manually enter the dates for your papers and projects in a single place – a calendar. Although you will want to keep each syllabus, you will want your calendar to be the places where you store all important dates.
2. Sunday Ritual
Working while simultaneously attending college is a tough ordinal, no matter who you are. You will need to be a master of time management. That is why developing a Sunday ritual is recommended. Every Sunday morning, review your calendar to see what is due for the next two weeks. Based off the projects, develop a daily to-do list for the next 7 days. For example, if you have a math exam on Friday, you will write down for Monday, "Create and take 10-question mini quiz for Pre-calc exam." It is not enough to just put "Study for Pre-calc exam." It must be specific and actionable. This should be done for every class.
3. Google Apps
Google Apps is a Godsend for college students, especially those who are working at the same time. Google has a calendar application that you can use as your own calendar. Additionally, there is a Docs application that is a free alternative to Microsoft Office, which is perfect if you need to write papers or create presentations. The only downside is you are not able to write in MLA or Chicago format that most teachers require. So you will need to transfer the paper to Office eventually.
The power of YouTube is immense. For every single technical class you take, such as mathematics or economics, there is a large supply of YouTube videos. If you need to learn the chain rule for your calculus class, there are dozens of videos to teach you. If you need to learn Keynesian and supply-side economics, there are YouTube videos available. Take advantage of YouTube for almost of your classes.