Students struggle with managing time

By Tara Snowden

Time management may be one of the hardest things to develop.

From early morning classes to last-minute research papers, college students are faced with finding time to fit tasks into their schedules. Distractions such as the Internet, television and video games make it harder for some students to focus on school work.

“Balancing homework and recreation is one of the hardest things about college,” said Joe Monteleone, a freshman mechanical engineering major. “It is so easy to just push homework to the side, and we all do it. Homework is no fun.”

The development of Facebook and other Internet sites has many students glued to computer screens rather than being buried in school books and spending time on homework.

“I think we all spend too much time on the Internet,” Monteleone said. “There are so many distractions right in our faces. When you try to write a paper on the computer you can easily find yourself talking [on instant messenger] or on Facebook. Before you know it, hours have passed.”

A study conducted in 2002 by Pew Internet & American Life Project, “The Internet Goes to College,” examined how college students are living with today’s technology. It showed 86 percent of college students go online, where as only 59 percent of the general population does.

The study also concluded 72 percent of college students check e-mail at least once a day and on a typical day, 26 percent of college students use some form of instant messenger.

Since the Internet is available to most students from their computer, a roommate or friend, students may find themselves spending more time on the Internet on a daily basis.

Justin Bardahl, a freshman marketing major, admits to spending at least two hours each day on the Internet.

“It’s hard to focus on homework when there are so many things to do,” he said. “I love to have fun, but that has to come after homework and studies.”

According to the survey, however, not all college students balance leisure time with study time. About 74 percent of college students use the Internet four or more hours per week, while 62 percent of students reported studying for classes less than seven hours per week. For some students, the Internet is overtaking studying.

Bardahl disagreed, saying most students spend the majority of time studying or using the Internet for educational purposes.

“Most people I know study more than they watch TV and are on the Internet,” he said. “Although the Internet is a huge past time for students, it’s mostly [instant messaging]. Other time on the Internet is spent on Blackboard and finishing assignments.”