Leg #2 Time
Last time, I asked you to keep a time diary for a week. Take out that time log and your motivational picture/paragraph. Keep them in front of you as we talk.
Let’s break that down a little more. Most classes are worth 3 units (or credits). For a lecture class, a unit represents an hour of class time per week. This assumes a regular (16-week) semester. (One unit in an 8-week session is two hours of class time per week.) A 3-unit class will be usually offered once (a single 3-hour block) or twice (two 1½ hour blocks) a week.
Now that you know how much time you need to do well, you need to decide how much time you have. First, look back at your motivational picture/paragraph. Remind yourself of the reason you’re in college. Now, look at your time log from the last week.
Answer this question: Do you currently have at least ten hours every week to devote to achieving your goal? (Those ten hours should not interfere with the essentials of your life. You still need to eat and sleep and take care of the business of being you.)
If you answered “Yes,” the next question is this: Are you willing to commit to that for an entire 16-week semester?
Again, if the answer is “Yes,” there’s another question: Are the other people in your life willing to give you the space and time you need?
Still “Yes?” Then all systems are “Go.”
Remember, ten hours is an average time commitment per 3-unit, 16-week class. Counselors usually recommend that students who are working fewer than 20 hours per week take no more than 12 units the first semester. If you’re working 40 hours per week, start with 6 or fewer units. Why, you ask? Sixty hours of school/work is the ideal balance for most people. Start slow, do well, then add another class next semester.
Homework: Next time, we’re going to talk about money, where to find it and how to budget it. Your homework is to track your everyday spending for at least a week. In addition, write down all of your monthly bills. Remember, no one is seeing this but you, so be brutally honest. You want a clear picture of both your day-to-day, week-to-week, and monthly expenses. We’ll talk about why that’s important in two weeks.