Full-time everything: a tale of time management


The overwhelming effects of being a full-time student and a full-time employee take a toll on students at the University of Texas at El Paso. Photo credit by Ismael Gonzalez.

Ismael Gonzalez, Guest Columnist

My alarm rang at 6 a.m. but I decided to lay there for another 15 minutes, at least that is what I told myself. After a lengthy battle against myself I managed to jump out of bed. It is probably 7 a.m. by now and I must be at work in less than 30 minutes. I run to the restroom and jump in the shower; it is one of the fastest showers I have ever taken. Half-dressed, I find myself looking through the clean clothes hamper for something to wear.  Once I am ready, I run to the kitchen table and throw everything into my half-closed backpack. I grabbed my keys and ran out the door.  

This is what every morning looked like for me. I was struggling to find time to stay afloat. I had gone from a full-time employee to also being a full-time student. The time I had left after work now had to be dedicated to class, and this included driving to UTEP and being there physically and studying for everything concerning school. Sometimes, I would forget to do laundry; other days I would forget to eat. I was exhausted and not being efficient in anything I did. It was then when I realized I had to make changes. I had to pause and restructure. I needed a calendar and a schedule for my daily activities.  

I started by weighing the tasks in order of importance. I started working around what I saw as a priority and only gave time to what was not important if I had the time for it. If it was something that I could not get to soon enough, it was something that could keep waiting.  

I realized that I had to make a change, not only for me, but for the people around me. I knew that if I kept going on the same route, I was going to end up quitting not only one thing but everything simultaneously.  

But now, I can serve as an example that it is possible to have a full-time job and be a full-time student at UTEP. Managing my time has helped me focus on work, improved my time studying, and I even have spare time to do fun things that I really enjoy.  

So, if you are struggling to keep your head above water, or you feel like you have taken on too many things at once, you probably just need to pause and restructure your life. Israel’s former first minister, Golda Meir said “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” There is so much truth to those words. It is not about the time we have but how we manage it.

As students we might need more guidance on how to manage our time and learn to prioritize our activities and responsibilities. The Counseling and Psychological Services a UTEP offer time management classes. For more information visit  [email protected] 

The Counseling and Psychological Services a UTEP offer time management classes. For more information visit www.utep.edu/student-affairs/counsel 

Ismael Gonzalez may be reached at [email protected]