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Time is at a premium in every tertiary institution. This is because all higher institutions run on a tight schedule. Lecture time and all other times are carefully planned for the benefit of lecturers and students. A particular number of courses must be done within the semester and a certain number of lectures per week is planned for each course for one to attain the required credit points/load.

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Often, students, especially freshmen, appear to have the feeling that there is not enough time for everything that needs to be done. The desire to participate in so many social, cultural and religious activities adds to the pressure of many lectures and assignments. These result in a general shortage of time. In spite of these, careful planning should make adequate time available for both academic and extra-curricular activities. Academic activities include lectures, assignments, personal reading/private study, group discussion, and seminar. The extra-curricular ones are sport/games, club activities, religious activities, hobbies, and so on.

In any institution of higher learning, premium is placed on academic work. Your goal of going to university, polytechnic or college is to get a good degree which would launch you into a successful career. This can be achieved by a judicious use of time. One way of using your time judiciously is to have a personal time- table. Your personal time- table must incorporate aspects of the school official time- table which concern you, as well as times for getting up and going to bed, getting ready for the day (e.g. quiet time, bathing, etc), weekend cleaning and washing, religious services, and times for study.

Draw up a time-table with days of the week (Monday – Sunday) and hours of the day (e.g. 6.00am – 11.00pm). Indicate all extra-curricular activities. Remember to give more of your study time to courses that are new and those that you find difficult. At the end of each day, check to see how faithfully you have kept to the time slots. Once you are able to follow your time-table, everything takes shape and success is to a large extent, guaranteed.

In addition, a careful choice of extra-curricular activities will help you make judicious use of your time on campus. There are so many social and religious activities that a student runs the risk of being involved in too many of them. If he does, his academic work suffers. It is best, therefore, that you restrict yourself to one or two of such activities, and these must be given slots in your personal time table.

Source: English for Tertiary Education. An Integrated Approach (Brown, FA, 2003).

 For a more practical and personalized discussion, see Study Secrets Revealed.

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