Mastering the balancing act of college life

By on September 12, 2006

The first two weeks of school are over, which means assignments will surely be piling up soon enough.

Adjusting to college life means more than conquering the seemingly insurmountable tasks of making all new friends, adjusting to having no privacy in the dorms and taking college classes for the first time. There is still one important decision that has to be made on a daily basis: how to manage all your free time. While it is true that college may be the craziest years of a person’s life, the fact remains that the real reason people come to college is to prepare themselves for the real world.

It’s Thursday night and you’ve got some decisions to make. Do you do your work for tomorrow’s class, go out partying, relax with your friends, or call your parents for your weekly chat? It’s situations like these that many freshmen will have trouble dealing with. Thankfully, Quinnipiac has many services to help students manage their time effectively, while generally still having a pleasant college experience.

Carol Boucher is currently responsible for Quinnipiac’s counseling department. She said, “The most important thing a freshman can do is develop a balanced schedule and stick to it.”

Boucher also noted that the counseling department sees hundreds of students every semester, dealing with problems ranging from being homesick to making poor choices.

Boucher also made it clear the ease at which someone can make an appointment to talk to someone in the counseling department. Students may fill out an intake form online, pick one up in the counseling center, or if a student is involved in a crisis, he or she can be seen right away by one of the three full-time therapists on staff. The counseling center is located in the Counseling and Career Services building on Bobcat Alley.

There are other university resources for the Quinnipiac student as well. In fact, the Learning Center, located in Tator Hall, is more utilized than the counseling center. In the fall of 2005, over 2,000 students used some form of the learning center services. Andrew Delohery, Director of the Learning Center, explained that there are many ways that students can benefit from a visit.

“We want to offer every student the same chance to get an education,” Delohery said.

The Learning Center offers both educational and personal services. On the educational end of the spectrum, there is the peer tutoring program along with organized study groups for some of the more traditionally difficult courses. The tutoring program offers instruction in over 300 courses and is nationally certified at the Master’s level by the College Reading and Learning Association.

There are Learning Skills seminars and individual academic counseling which are more geared towards personal needs. The learning skills seminars occur twice a week and cover subjects ranging from “Taking notes like an expert” to “Surviving finals week.” If a student is unable to attend the seminar, they can make a personal appointment and receive the seminar as a private tutorial. According to Delohery, the individual academic counseling offered here is possibly the most rewarding.

“We try to stress proactive learning over reactive.” Delohery said. He explained that the re-active type of learning students utilized in high school will not work at the university level.

“While a university may not be harder than high school, it certainly is different,” he said.

Since students have so much free time, it is easy to sit around or party without getting school work done. This is where the pro-active learning comes in. Delohery explained that this essentially means that you just have to make the decision to go out and do things.

It’s apparent that the University has many outlets to help students deal with managing their time. So what do some former freshmen think are some helpful tips for balancing time?

“I always had to-do lists,” said senior psychology major Andrea Oakes. “I tried to space my time out and make time for down time so I wasn’t always stressed out.”

Anna Ward, also a senior psychology major, added her own tip.

“If you know you have a lot of work to do for one class or a big project due, do that first. Just try to prioritize,” she said.

Getting through the rigors and stressful situations of freshmen year may seem impossible sometimes. If you keep some of these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to having a pleasant and relatively stress-free freshman year.


About Ryan Romanski