Things to do: school work, part-time jobs, internships, club activities, and get-togethers with friends. There are 24 hours in a day, but 24 hours seem too short for students who actually want to manage all of these activities at the same time. To squeeze all of these activities into their schedule, students definitely need something: time management. Yet, there are actually some students who do many extracurricular activities, maintain a high GPA and also save time to hang out with friends. How do these students manage their time and control themselves? For those who are having trouble with time management, especially for freshmen, the Ewha Voice interviewed some of the most active Ewha students to figure out how they use their time wisely and manage their busy schedules.
The life engine of Park Ju-hyun (International Studies, 2), does not seem to be slowing a bit this semester. Park, who describes herself as a born-activist, does diverse activities in and out of campus. As of now, Park is holding leading position in the Ewha Campus Leaders, the Taekyun Club, and Discover, a periodical club in the Division of International Studies. Moreover, when she does not have classes, Park not only does volunteer work teaching mentally disabled people English once a week, but also studies Spanish at a language academy.
Adding another layer to her busy schedule, Park became the vice class representative for the Division of International Studies this year. Park might seem like a superwoman handling all of these responsibilities each day but to her, it is a different story. “I have never thought that I worked under a hectic schedule. I think I am just an outgoing person who enjoys doing so many activities. Plus, since extracurricular activities themselves are not as demanding as academic work, I do not feel much pressure,” says Park. Fortunately, due to her careful arrangement of her schedule, she has never experienced an overlap among her many activities.
Park also strives to keep her grades high. She says that it is just an excuse to shift the blame to a hectic schedule when you get a low grade. “I believe when you’re busy, you can stay alert. Just because you do many activities, this does not mean that it will be hard to control yourself on your academic studies. After all, I do not think my activities actually affected my studies,” said Park.
Amidst their busy schedules, spending time with family is another factor that students need to balance. Park stressed the importance of relationships with different people, especially her family members. Although she is always busy doing things in and out of school, she tries to vacate her schedule on weekends for her family.
In contrast with students like Park who stay busy with extracurricular activities, there are others who spend most of their time trying to learn more outside of class. Hwang Hyun-ah (English, 4) said, “I love learning foreign languages. So, I am currently learning French and Japanese at a language academy. Also, since I am a senior, I am preparing for the GRE test to get into graduate school.”
Aside from learning two foreign languages and keeping up with her studies, Hwang also earns money through private tutoring by teaching two kids. She says the key to managing her heavy workload and keeping up her GPA is sacrificing her time on weekends. “Instead of using my free time hanging out with my friends, I stay home and study. Also, I use my time in the subway to memorize words and even read some literature books,” said Hwang.
Hwang also added that one thing she learned through her busy life is that the less time you have, the more you can concentrate on whatever you do. “Since I knew that I did not have any extra time to waste, I automatically became more focused and concentrated on my work.”
Another student, Na Young-joo (French, 3) is also viewed with awe by friends as she fits her busy schedule into her campus life. She is the vice president of Ewha Campus Leaders, a member of Ensemble a (French musical club) and a class representative for French majors. Na says that it is possible for her to manage her time due to her habit of planning specifically for the short term.
“When attending Leadership Training 1 Class, I saw people who had plans for a whole year. But in my case, I specifically plan for the near future. I organize all of my appointments and plans in my organizer beforehand, and mark each of them off when completed. To remind myself, I also save the times of some of the important meetings on the screen of my cell phone,” says Na.
Na says that she also uses her tactic of planning for the short term to help her get better grades. “In a negative way, this is also called ‘cramming for the test.’ Although you always try to study and review, it is hard to follow a review schedule if it overlaps with other activities. So, I try to take advantage of my class time as much as possible. I concentrate on taking notes, and ask professors many questions.”
Starting in April, Na is planning to produce a new piece for Ensemble, planning to round up a group of students to learn performance planning, and preparing to go as an exchange student next year. “All I can say is that knowing and reflecting your personality and applying it to your study patterns is top priority in managing your time. You have to figure out whether you are a short-term or long-term person,” said Na.
Eom Min-ji (English, 2), who works for the Ewha Broadcasting System (EBS) gives one more tip on how to survive in a hectic schedule. “Personally, when I am stressed out from doing so many things at the same time, I try to think of what I will be able to do after finishing everything. My stress decreases if I think about going to the movies or hanging out with my friends after all my activities are over. This is what I do to cheer myself up!”