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Joanna is back again writing her second blog post. She will be sharing her knowledge on time management and what you can do to find balance in college!

How to balance school and extracurriculars

Time management is always a challenge, especially for those of us who are not used to a quarter system at the university level. A university that runs on a quarter system consists of 9 weeks of classes divided up into fall, winter and spring quarter. You should expect two midterms and a final per quarter depending on your classes.

I am the Co-Chair of the Salvadoran Student Movement and through it I am also a part of the organizing committee of a Study Abroad Program to El Salvador. Moreover, I participate in events hosted by the Chicano Latino Resource Center, work as a learning assistant (tutor), attend office hours for all my classes, go to tutoring sessions and I even make time to go to the gym. So you must be wondering, Que? Que!? How does she do it!?

First thing to do is get a planner, a small notepad, a calendar and a weekly time management schedule which you will stick to your wall.

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Calendars can be used for more than telling the date!

How I have made use of my calendar

I use my calendar to remind myself of large and important events.

Here is where I write down midterms, finals, any interviews or birthdays.


How I have made use of my planner

I write down important meetings on my planner. For example:

College Connect Check-in at 1:00pm

Professor’s office hours at 3:30pm

Enroll to classes at 10:00am


How I have made use of my small notepad

It is my daily agenda. I write down every single thing I have to do for that one particular day, ANYTHING! For example:


Keep organized with a notebook!

Tuesday Oct. 28th

9:00am             Email professor

Put Yellow sheet MSI in bag pack

11:30am          buy blue book for midterm

12:00-1:45     lecture

2:00-3:00        go to Math MSI

3:50                print out my MSI agenda

4:00-5:10        MSI session

6:00-7:30        Read

8:00-9:00        USEU meeting

9:30-11:30     work on homework

Here are some tips that I follow.

It is really helpful to use different colors for different classes.

Math is blue, Community Activism is Pink and Education is yellow. I have also included when I work (in pencil) and when I have to attend tutoring (red dashes) and when my organization meets (blue).

On the side on the same sheet of paper write down (using the same color pattern) your professor’s office hours and include time, location and their email. Also, include the time and location for everything that is on your schedule. It helps when writing it down on the small notepad.

Most importantly, what motivates me to follow through my commitments and schoolwork is that I recognize that my role as a student is nothing compared to my mom’s hard work. She constantly reminds me that I should focus in school so that I can get a good job that will pay me well. In the end, I do not do it so much for the money, but rather because I am aware that my degree will allow me to use my knowledge and resources as a power for change in my own home and in my community. So find what motivates you! Remember the reasons for why you are on this journey.

Managing my time by using different forms of agendas has kept me on top of my school work, extracurricular and self-care. There is nothing else I can advise more than writing down everything and daily looking at ALL of your agendas.

It’s easy and fun once you get a hang of it =)

Best of luck!

In solidarity with the dead and disappeared students in Ayotzinapa, México. Long live the students!! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

Joanna Beltrán Girón, Cohort 5

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