Written by: Center for Career & Professional Advancement, Serena Nguyen
Edited by: Dalton Rogers
If you could have one super power that could help you out in a time of need, which one would you choose?
I watched a movie called “About Time” last weekend. The movie is about a man who has the ability to travel back in time. Although his ability is limited to traveling back only to times in his own life, he is able to fix most of his mistakes and gets a fresh start many times over. Along his journey, he falls in love with a woman named Mary. After meeting her, the love of his life, he is able to learn and understand that sometimes there are things that are best left the way they happened the first time. He realizes the value of living in the moment. Overall, I thought the movie was great and had an amazing message, which is that we must treasure the time we have and we should not waste a moment of it.
After the seeing the movie, I reflected on its significance to my own life. I thought that the ability to travel through time was amazing and I wish I too could have that extraordinary power. Imagine what we could do with that power! As for me, I would put it to good use by going back in time to get more study time for exams. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing sleep to study anymore! In addition, I would also have time for fun, such as hanging out with my family and friends, and of course, catching up with all of my favorite TV shows.
Unfortunately, that kind of power doesn’t exist!
In reality, we each have 24 hours a day to complete what we need to do—and that’s it. We shouldn’t forget that of those 24 hours, 8 to 9 of them are spent sleeping and 30 minutes to an hour are spent per meal for eating, In the end, we really only have 12-14 hours each day to complete our tasks.
As college students, we attend classes (50 minutes, 75 minutes, sometimes 2 hours each), club/organization activities, and/or work. We also have assignments to do, group projects to work on, and readings to do.
So, “where did all that time go?” is the most asked question we tend to vocalize. Even those with the best time management skills can easily fall behind on their tasks and get overwhelmed with their workloads.
Occasionally, I do find myself unable to respond to any of my tasks because I just don’t know where to start. Everything falls apart when I decide to procrastinate and wait to the last minute to start on my work. That is not a very smart idea on my part, but I think all of us students struggle with procrastination.
I remember when I was in my very first semester here at UC Merced. Like everyone else, as a freshman, I would spend most of my time going out with friends and socializing with people on my floor, or spending time on Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube. I neglected my studies and didn’t prepare very well for my tests until the night before the exam. I regretted that I didn’t give more attention to my academics and instead decided to have fun first and work later. When I saw my first college GPA at the end of the semester, I was in shock. I didn’t get academic probation, but I was disappointed with myself for not trying harder.
I wish I could go back in time to fix my freshman year mistakes and to do better in my classes, but that is not possible. Instead, I have decided to manage my time better from this point on. By the end of my first semester as a sophomore, I was able to pull my cumulative GPA up over 3.0.
The moral of this story? Focus on working hard in the present time so that you won’t be regretting your choices in the future. No matter how badly we want to travel back in time, we can’t.
So, what have I learned from this lesson?
I learned that time is very precious and I must savor every moment of it. I should manage my time better and not wasting it for something that I might regret later on. Although I can still have fun with friends from time to time; I should also prioritize my task and know when to complete them on time. One way I can do that is to write all of my tasks down on a piece of paper and arrange them in their priorities. I also learned not to study for any of my test the night before the exam. Instead, I am giving myself three days in advance to study for the materials that will be cover on the test. I know three days may sound like a lot but trust me, it is not.
Of course, everyone is different and have options to choose what to do with their own time. However, we must not forget that time waits for no one and so we must do what we wanted to do. At the end of the day, we should look back and ask ourselves if the time we spend on for the entire day was worth it. If not, what can we do in order to change that?