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Need Advice on Time Management

Posted

Hi everyone!

I am a pre-nursing student, and this semester will be my last semester:yes:, taking some remaining pre-requisites, namely micro, physio, and socio. I was told by many people, including students and professors, not to take these two science courses together. But that was not an option for me. I was accepted to the Mane Nursing Program at my community college with the condition of finishing all remaining courses by Spring 2015.

Okay, so after reading many threads regarding the load of reading and studying that is required in nursing school, I was thinking of trying to train myself into learning how to manage my time in these last courses before I start the program. Frankly speaking, I am a big time procrastinator. I am the type of person who starts writing a psychology research paper in the last three days when I am supposed to prepare it ahead of time in four weeks (given time). I survived being like this since back in high school. If I mention some of my stories, I am sure it will really shock many people. It's not that I was content with this, though. I would always tell myself to start early every time I had assignment, exams, or research papers to complete by a certain deadline. It just happens that I would get distracted by other stuff.

I hate to say this, but I really get this ineffable joy of having to study and learn during the time just right before a deadline. And then, the best part is when I get my results and know that I passed the exam. Oh, the excitement...

I don't know why this happens; maybe it's because of the challenge that I enjoy.

Anyhow, knowing all this, I want to change. I want to actually start reading ahead of time, let alone revising what I learn from lecture each day. I want to use this last opportunity lying in front of me. Thus, I ask my fellow nursing students, or even pre-nursing students who are better than "me" in managing their time for studying to give me some tips on how I could change for the better.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Haybah

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

Managing your study time will probably be the hardest part of getting through the semester. I suggest that you budget about 1.5 hours for each class hour per week for studying. Get a calendar and use it. That's the hard part... using it and sticking to it. Give yourself some deadlines to have stuff done each step along the way and hold yourself accountable for it.

I've been known to procrastinate and I do well under pressure for certain kinds of things... like writing papers. I already went through a Bachelors of Science program so I know how to write papers well so I don't have to revise my papers often. The bad news is that your brain doesn't often retain information well when you cram for exams. Often you'll find that the information is held until you've dumped it onto paper and then it's gone.

Here's one way I learned to keep things fresh and whatnot... I read ahead about a week or so per class and stay ahead about that far. For the first 2 weeks or so, I'm very busy doing about double the reading load. Then I can slow way down and just "stay ahead" of the assigned reading and writing. I also park my butt in class every day, every class. If something is due on a specific day, I make sure that I set my own deadline to a few days earlier just so that I have it done and I can let it "sit" for a couple days and then I can review my work with fresh eyes and make sure I did the work the right way. Then all I have to do is make sure I turn it in on time.

This strategy also allowed me to take the time to spruce up some of my papers with relevant photos that I'd taken of experiments or appropriate tables because the writing itself was done. It allowed me the ability to ensure that I'd properly cited the material with appropriate footnotes or endnotes.

Because this semester is going to be a challenge for you, you're just going to have to be much more proactive about getting your work done and actually doing the work. There's going to be a LOT of reading and the volume of reading for each science course can be quite considerable and it'll be very difficult to get it all done if you put it off until the last minute... or even the last hour. This whole semester is going to have to be treated as if it's "last minute" because there's going to be that much information presented to you. This is doable... but only if you manage your time effectively and on a schedule.

That will be invaluable when you start nursing school because you'll have to do much the same thing... manage your time effectively to get as much done as you can because it's not always going to be possible to get it all done.

I agree with the poster above it's important to be on top of your game. Reading ahead is the smart thing to do. If you can try to study on a daily basis it will help you out in the long run. Set out some time each day to study for different classes. Go over your notes on the same day you had class. Micro and physiology will require lots of reading so be prepared for that. You can't afford to read multiple chapters at the last minute. One test in those courses are often combined chapters. You want to read things ahead of time before class starts.Good luck on your courses.

la_chica_suerte85, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

I think the only way to really change this is you need the fear of God put into you a little bit. When it comes to nursing school, you will be flabbergasted at how long some assignments (i.e. care plans) take. It simply is not feasible to do things the way you've been doing them and be successful. I was really shocked at how long some of my care plans have taken even when I started early enough in order to avoid having everything right on the edge of a deadline. The joy you may get from meeting the challenge is going to be replaced with a warning that should you do this again, you might end up with a grade that prevents you from moving forward in your program. So, seriously, you must stop this now and develop good habits. It will take a little experimentation but you must start now and find what works for you.

Thank you so much everyone for the advice! It is so encouraging to have people who are willing to help.

I appreciate your advice la_chica_suerta85! You sounded intimidating; I hope this will help me into changing.:yes:

If you can study/read/do homework at school. Math and I do not get along. When I started stats I told myself I wasn't allowed to go home until my homework for the day was done. This prevented me from procrastinating! I would actually rather clean my house than do stats hw, so this was my way of fixing the problem! Hope this helps! GL!

Ps. I took micro and a&p in the same quarter and lived! So will you!!

@stunurse2015

Stats homework was fun wasn't it :bookworm: :up:? Just kidding, doing so many problems did eventually bore me out since I was doing hw in advance. My prof had us do optional homework just in case we did bad on tests and hw would help the grade. I'm also glad stats is over with although it was not difficult.

Stats is one of those classes that you either get or don't get. Believe it or not it was the one math class in my entire life that made sense to me!! I agree it wasn't hard but also glad it's over!

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

stunurse2015

If you can study/read/do homework at school. Math and I do not get along. When I started stats I told myself I wasn't allowed to go home until my homework for the day was done. This prevented me from procrastinating! I would actually rather clean my house than do stats hw, so this was my way of fixing the problem! Hope this helps! GL!

Ps. I took micro and a&p in the same quarter and lived! So will you!![/QUOTE]

I am taking all three classes all this semester and I'm a bit nervous. I do procrastinate as well and liked your idea of staying on the school campus until homework is complete. What are your study methods for A&P and Microbiology? How did you learn to understand and comprehend the material?

The courses I am taking are fast track and are only five weeks long for each class.

Ahahaha. I second that stunurse2015, stats was not too hard to understand granted time and effort was put in. I think calculus and elementary differential equations math class was a whole different world( I took those before I was thinking about nursing school). I can't believe some people sighed during stats class or even during the exam and final exam when I took it :wideyed:

Tasha92337,

If you're taking micro and anatomy and physiology at the same time and those are 5 weeks long, get ready for a whole lot of devotion. There's a lot to read, study and learn in both micro and a and p. A voice recorder would be a huge help for better detailed notes. I liked to test my knowledge in quizzing myself online. I used getbodysmart.com and for a picture of veins and etc. I used Innerbody.com

I think drawing pictures are helpful in a and p especially when learning about the heart and blood flow. I'd draw a big heart and label the parts in detail and color in the whole thing too. I did it in my notebook for anatomy, physiology and even still when studying for the teas :geek: those courses in 5 weeks will require daily studying and review, you cannot fall behind schedule.

Hoping for the best in your semester.

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

Thank you. I am very nervous but once i understand the format of the first exam , i will have an idea of how the professor creates exams/quizzes.

That's slightly insane!! Only 5 weeks!!! But if you are purely a student for those five weeks (no mom wife or pet parent) it can be done. At at least you'll get it done and over with quickly!! I used the code in my a&p book and it helped me a lot!! (The quizzes were very helpful in my judgement of where my recall and absorption was!) good luck!!

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

That's slightly insane!! Only 5 weeks!!! But if you are purely a student for those five weeks (no mom wife or pet parent) it can be done. At at least you'll get it done and over with quickly!! I used the code in my a&p book and it helped me a lot!! (The quizzes were very helpful in my judgement of where my recall and absorption was!) good luck!!

Yes, i know it's going to be a little overwhelming but I am preparing for the best. Thinking positive researching learning aids to help me pass this course. I already have a copy of the class first lecture review and handouts for the first week. I just hope to continue to stay ahead.

la_chica_suerte85, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

Thank you so much everyone for the advice! It is so encouraging to have people who are willing to help.

I appreciate your advice la_chica_suerta85! You sounded intimidating; I hope this will help me into changing.:yes:

Lol, I don't mean to sound intimidating but I know exactly where you're coming from -- I and many of my cohort buddies were in the same boat and it was a real eye-opener when it came to doing the 1st care plan. They are massive time hogs and you just absolutely have to start early. Good luck!