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Non-traditional Students and Traditional Time Management Tips


Until circa 1960, if you visit major universities in the country, you will see students who are male, young, white, and full-time and come from a middle-class family. These students are what universities and colleges identify as traditional students.

During that time there was not much notion of students who work in part-time jobs to support their college education. College students with learning disabilities were also virtually invisible, even non-existent, then.

As our society continuously evolves, the predominance of traditional students in University student bodies experiences some changes. Somehow, due to the accommodation of more immigrants who have adopted our country as their own, the student body summaries for college institutions saw a distinct shift from having a population of traditional students into non-traditional ones.

Over the last several decades, student population now consists of those who are older, women, Asian/Hispanic, and are part-time. Meanwhile, traditional students as described slowly decrease in population. These are based factually from annual summary reports of the Chronicle of Higher Education on students at two-year and four-year colleges.

Non-traditional students are mostly women enlightened with their gender having equal opportunities in society today. They are not anymore teenagers fresh from high school. Some are already housewives who come back in school for a college education degree.

There are all kinds of reasons for adults to come back to school. They may have taken up a college education to guarantee promotion in their jobs. Various assistance programs to grant others with the opportunity to gain a college education within a given time limit.

The college institution faculty now confronts quite an interesting mixture of students, more diverse in age, gender, ethnicity and academic exclusivity in their lives. The notion of “traditional” students becomes quite uncommon and unusual. Ideas and tips for effective time management of these non-traditional students are emphasized.

It is a great challenge for Universities and Colleges to accommodate these non-traditional students. These students apparently have other responsibilities, aside from fulfilling their projects and attending study lectures.

Breaking down their time for responsibilities to their family, their part-time or full-time jobs, their academic and non-academic activities, could daunt those who are not very much motivated. It is quite a good point that these non-traditional college students are highly motivated.

Still, it is up to the Universities and college institutions to assist them in coming up with proper time management methods and strategies so that they will not neglect their college education.

Universities and college institutions must let these non-traditional students feel that they are not alone in their endeavors. It is important to let them know that their goals are obtainable, and that they can make significant changes in their lives if they really go the extra mile for it.

Aside from assisting them in achieving confidence, determination, and encouragement to persevere, they must also know of properly setting up a time management program for themselves.

There is an extensive list of ideas and time management tips for college students, in general. However, non-traditional students are the ones who need most of these ideas. Here are several of them:

1. Do not fall over the Parkinson’s Law trap. Plan the length of time needed to successfully accomplish or complete a certain task. If it can be finished ahead of time, then it is much better.

2. The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule of getting 80% of the results from 20% of the work” is a good method to apply in accomplishing a certain task and getting the most out of the time.

3. No one is perfect so do not strive achieve perfection. It can be a waste of time to go back again and again just to perfect something. A job or task must be considered “finished” and it is time to move on to something else.

4. Do important task during the time of day when personal productivity is high.

5. Spend the night before getting ready for the next day.

6. Do not tolerate procrastination. Plan and divide time with efficiency without giving space for long terms of idleness or inactivity.

7. Do not skip classes just to do another activity or task

8. For every hour of a lecture, schedule two hours to review it.

9. Identify a place which ambiance work well in inspiring work and creativity

10. Tougher assignments or tasks need to be discussed first

11. Do not or if not, stop being a blockhead Blockheads as other people are wont to do.

12. There is a need to stop an activity when you have reached the end of the scheduled time limit and move on to the next task at hand.

13. Check out the time available for a certain task or project. For large projects, break it up into smaller assignments to become more attainable and less daunting.

14. Give importance to major course classes

15. Have a list of things to accomplish for a day, a week, a month, even a whole semester and check each one off once completed or achieved.

16. Set a schedule for exercise and relaxation. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

17. Be an expert in carrying out small and simple tasks during intervals or lull in activities.

Non-traditional college students are flexible and experienced people. They can motivate themselves to excel, as long as they are guided by a good time management skill.

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