UNC Asheville staff and students offer insight on time management

Kevin McCall
Contributor Writer
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UNC Asheville academic adviser Katie Kitchens encounters many students who struggle managing their time and said routine and repetition are significant factors that help build a student’s motivation. 
“Coming into college knowing you can build your own routine, I think that’s a big part of time management. Having some routine and structures built into your day,” she said.
Kitchens said more experienced students have a better conceptual understanding of how to deal with their time.
“There’s the standard missed assignments, tardiness and absences that can blossom into a lot of anxiety,” Kitchens said. “Upperclassmen have figured out how to study. Even if they have poor time management, once they get to work they can do it more efficiently.” 
The pandemic made time management more difficult for students to grasp their schedules, according to Kitchens.
“When you’re doing so many of your activities in the same location, same couch or table, everything blends together and it could be hard to have a sense of time passing,” Kitchens said. 
Kitchens said having a job in school can actually benefit some students in terms of time awareness.
“Having a job forces you to be aware of what time it is. It gives you some parameters for your day,” Kitchens said. “They may have less time to get things done so they will be more stressed as far as awareness of time.”
Kitchens said drawing from past experiences can help a student overcome their struggles.
“Think about a time when things felt manageable and try to pull out some of the tools that you used then and maybe you can implement them in your everyday life,” Kitchens said.
Riz, UNCA’s academic and international student adviser, personally deals with time management issues along with students.According to Riz, the pandemic causes time management to become harder to grasp for some students.
“I think that especially because of COVID, people don’t really have a routine that they used to have,” Riz said. “A lot of us are left to our own devices and have to be accountable to ourselves, so it’s just easier to not do it.” 
As for online classes, Riz said students have mixed responses.
“I’ve met students who really love online classes because they can just stay in their pajamas all day and do whatever they want, and I hear people who absolutely hate it,” Riz said. 
Riz said mental health plays a large role in students struggling with time management.
“I’ve heard from a couple of upperclassmen that they are really struggling with this new way of learning because they were used to it one way. Some of them are struggling with depression and anxiety,” Riz said.
Drawing from personal experience in the past, Riz said students have methods they can follow to better their time management and motivation.
“I am old-schooled. There is a power in hand writing things out, getting a little notebook with a calendar and writing your to-do list. That’s how I survived. I color-coded things,” Riz said. 
According to Riz, UNCA offers plenty of resources for students that struggle with mental health and time management issues. 
“I think UNCA offers great resources. I highly recommend just stopping at the academic success center,” Riz said. “We have writing centers, we have the office of academic accessibility. We do have workshops. There’s a wonder-to-ponder series. It’s geared to first-year students that sometimes does workshops on time management.”
 Keithon Turner, a junior at UNCA, said he once faced the struggles of time management just like his peers. 
“It took me a long time to figure out exactly how to study. Before, I was just reading things over and over again, but that didn’t work,” the 21-year-old said. 
According to Turner, as students become older and more experienced with college, they begin to become more responsible with their scheduling. 
“Now as a junior, I am making tough decisions such as valuing my grades and my study time over entertainment, no matter how much I want to hang out with friends or play video games,” Turner said. 
According to him, procrastination is the biggest reason why many students struggle managing their time. 
“We all finally get out of our parents’ house and now have all this free time. We are the ones to call the shots now,” Turner said. “We tend to put off a lot of assignments because we believe we can.” 
According to Turner, the pandemic helped him balance out his schedule and manage his time better. 
“I’m always in my room now so I have no reason to see my friends or go out to the club or mall,” Turner said. “So I might as well get my work done since there isn’t much else to do.”
During this time, Turner said he discovered useful ways to manage time. 
“Use a calendar and find balance. We all need something in life that we’ve got to do everyday,” Turner said. “The balance is to not put things in a calendar that must be rushed. If you have to rush to do it, then you did not balance correctly.”