Spending Your Down Time Productively


You might find that since coming to college, you have a lot more free time than you were anticipating. You probably thought that being here meant being constantly busy just by taking five classes alone. And now that you’re doing your five classes, you’re wondering why you find yourself with free time.

Personally, a lot of free time doesn’t help me get things done. I work a lot better when I’m busy, because I’m more apt to allot myself time to get things done, wheres when there’s too much free time, I shrug things off and procrastinate more. Staying busy while in college is an important factor for success for many students, and often helps to make the college experience much more worthwhile. While much of the learning that you do goes on in the classroom, you’ll find that there are certain things you can’t be taught within the constraints of a lecture and a textbook. Engaging with activities outside of schoolwork is a learning experience in and of itself, and a great way to spend free time.

Part-time jobs.

Getting some money on the weekends is a great way to spend some time and get off campus. If you’re looking to stay busy, think of somewhere that you could work with hours that would go well with your class schedule. And don’t just look for places to work in Tenleytown! There are plenty of places to get jobs in the city that are easily accessible by taking the Metro – or, better and cheaper yet, the bus.

Join a club.

Clubs are one of the best go-to’s if you’re trying to stay busy. Getting involved is one of the Peers’ favorite things! You’ll have something to do every week, you’ll meet friends with similar interests, and you’ll stay busy with things to get done for the club.

Unfortunately, joining a club doesn’t always put you out into the city unless it’s a volunteer-based organization, or something that is grounded in DC’s cultural engagement. However, you’ll be spending busying yourself productively! And that’s reason enough to join some clubs on campus.

Get involved doing things you enjoy in DC.

If you find that you have a lot of extra time and would love to get involved off campus, try looking around for volunteer opportunities that align with your interests. Volunteering doesn’t have to mean you’ll be going around doing community work and picking up trash along the sidewalk. You can cater volunteering to the things you’re interested in – whether it’s at a museum you’re always visiting, an animal shelter, or an organization that you’ve grown to be really passionate about.

Make a bucket list of things to do in the city.

This is something that I’m working on myself! Maybe you’re really into restaurants and want to check off ten restaurants to go to from Washingtonian’s top 100 list of DC eats. Maybe you love bookstores and want to see all the best in the city before the end of the semester. It’s good to stay busy with things that you do for yourself. Take friends with you or blog about your experiences to stay focused on your goals. Talk with the peers to see the places they suggest!

Some tips on keeping a balanced schedule:

Balancing a schedule is an important thing to do when you’re staying busy with schoolwork, a part-time job, and extra-curriculars. It might be hard at first, but with some practice and getting used to, you’ll find that you can easily adjust to all your responsibilities.

Use your meals as a social event.

With my busy schedule, I often find myself squeezing in meal times between class and work and things I have to do for the clubs I’m a part of. And because I’m so busy, it’s hard to get time in with friends throughout the week. An easy way to stay connected and keep yourself from going crazy is to use your meal times as a social break from the rest of your day. It’s a good time to sit back, relax, spend time with friends, and get your mind away from all the things you have to do.

Hit the gym.

Finding time to work out can be hard when you’re busy, but staying active is an important part of many people’s every day lives. Working out doesn’t have to take much from your schedule – it could be one hour a day, three days a week. When you’re working out, your body is releasing endorphins, your mind is off everything for a little while, and you’re keeping healthy.


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