As a college student, your free time is limited while you juggle classes, studying, extracurriculars, and maintaining a social life. The free time you do have may be unequally distributed throughout the week. You may be lucky and have some days when your classes are more or less back to back. On other days, though, there will be breaks in your schedule that you need to fill. Here are several ways to use breaks of all lengths more productively.
1. Find Out What Campus Has to Offer
If you’re a new student, use those first breaks you have between classes to explore campus. See what’s on offer in various buildings, including options to eat. You likely already saw the library on your group tour, but take the chance now to explore it properly — perhaps to find a place you’d like to use for studying.
2. Take a Nap
A nap lasting just 20 minutes can be great for your health. It will stop you reaching for another coffee and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on the rest of the day. If you’re unable to make it back to your room, find a spot on campus. For instance, an isolated couch or a big armchair in the library is perfect.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling energized, a break can be a great opportunity to fit a workout into your schedule. You may be able to participate in a team sport or take a yoga class on campus. Alternatively, you could head to the gym or even do bodyweight exercises in your room.
4. Review Your Notes
After class is the ideal time to read through your notes, as the material will still be fresh in your mind. In addition to helping you retain information, this will show you if anything you’ve jotted down is unclear or unlikely to make sense later. Plus, you can use this time to tie points together or make a note of any areas where you need further clarification.
5. Use Office Hours
Once you have your notes organized, you’ll know what kind of questions you want to ask your professors during office hours. It can be less intimidating to bring up doubts at office hours than during class. Plus, office hours allow your professors to give you in-depth answers. Make an effort to visit all your professors at some point — especially if your class sizes are large, as this could be the only chance you have to gain a valuable contact.
6. Work Through Your To-Do List
Create a to-do list that you can work through whenever you have spare time. Make sure you always choose tasks according to what is most urgent and fits around your time constraints, rather than whatever is most appealing. Otherwise, you’ll find that you keep putting off the most boring or frustrating tasks.
7. Find Volunteer Work
Dedicate some of your free time to an activity you can add to your resume by volunteering. There are many ways you can give back to the community. For instance, you could join the leadership of a college organization, find a charity in your area, get involved in a political campaign, or help out at a local school. If you’re a health major, volunteering at a hospital is a great option.
8. Seek a Part-Time Job on Campus
If you need to earn an income, find a part-time job. Looking for something you can do on campus is ideal, as managers will be understanding of your schedule and allow you to choose hours that fit around your classes. Talk to an advisor or financial officer about what jobs are available.
It’s easier to make good use of your breaks if you live near campus. For off-campus Georgian College residence, there’s Arcadian Students. Our brand-new student community is just down the street from campus — less than 10-minute walk. Book a tour to check out the housing for yourself.