As a college student, you have a lot of freedom over your schedule. You have a long list of classes that you can add to make a customized schedule. Perfect, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out how you want it. It would be really nice to have a block of classes each day starting mid-morning and then have the rest of the day off. However, your schedule won’t always work that way. There are class seniority, demand, professor schedules, and many other factors that will mess with your “perfect schedule.” If you find yourself with some unfortunate, awkward breaks between classes, we have created a list of things to do with your time between classes.
This is especially helpful for new students on campus. You’re probably familiar with the library from your campus tour and the proximity, but don’t be afraid to venture into buildings you’re unfamiliar with or community buildings (like the public library), too. You may find the perfect study spot for yourself in a place you would never expect. It is also beneficial to know where things are on campus so when it comes to meetings, interviews, classes, you know where to go!
Reread your notes
Research has shown that reading your notes right after class and going over the material again increases your comprehension and retention. While you’re scribbling away in the lecture, you probably aren’t fully absorbing the information right at that moment. Reading your notes after class helps you understand what the important points were, make connections, and write down questions you may have so you can ask your instructor next time.
Power napping (about 20 minutes) can be extremely beneficial! It will help relieve exhaustion and increase mental alertness. Don’t worry if you can’t make it back to your dorm room or apartment. You’ll realize napping in the middle of campus is perfectly normal. The comfy chairs in the library? Those aren’t for studying, they’re for power napping! Also, this is where exploring campus may come in handy. You might know that there is a couch on the third floor of the chemistry building no one uses at 11 a.m.- perfect nap spot!
Visit office hours
Since you are a responsible student and reread your notes and formed thoughtful questions, take advantage of office hours. Asking questions in lecture can be tricky, so take advantage of this time professors set aside for students to stop in. This will be an excellent opportunity to have your question answered fully and have concepts explained thoroughly to ensure your understanding. Getting to know your professors is also a good idea. In case an emergency comes up and you think you’re going to miss a due date, it is more likely your professor will be understanding if they know you are a dedicated student.
Jobs don’t have to be a hassle! Having a job right on campus is super convenient and offers you the opportunity to build skills, develop a network, and make money to cover college expenses. You could work in the cafeteria, at a store on campus, in an office, or driving the campus transportation system. There are a lot of options! Ask your advisor or financial aid officer about where to look for jobs on campus. It is likely the school has a job site.
In a similar vein to a campus job, volunteering on campus is a great resume builder, convenient, and an opportunity to give back to your college community! Many large schools have hospitals connected with the university, and they provide excellent volunteer opportunities. This isn’t just for health majors, there are a variety of tasks such as working in the cafeteria, delivering flowers, cuddling babies, delivering books, and many more tasks. Hospitals aren’t the only place to volunteer. Many offices would like student assistance as well as resource centers on campus.
You know those pesky things you need to get done, but never find the time for. Between classes is an excellent time! Have a question about financial aid? Stop into the office. Register for classes, mail that birthday card for your grandma, call your bank with a question, stop by the local drugstore for lotion you ran out of, anything you need to get done!
Use that little bit of extra time to stop into the yoga class at your campus rec center or fit in 30 minutes on the treadmill. If you don’t want to go to class sweaty, pack a change of clothes and take a quick shower in the locker rooms. Otherwise, no one will really care if you show up to class post-workout. Props for getting your exercise on!
This is an obvious one, but not everyone has the luxury! Some people have classes packed together so there is never time for a nice, real lunch. If you have a break, eat a meal! It will keep you healthy and channel your focus in your next class.
Since you’re already on campus, use this as an opportunity to stay focused on student mode and get your homework done! You’ll be around your classmates, too, so ask them for help if you’re stuck on a certain problem.
Say you have your workout for the day in, have no errands to run, running high on energy, homework is done, have study group tonight, and aren’t scheduled for work. Treat yourself! Since you seem to have all the “essential” bases covered, go ahead and give yourself a break to relax and indulge in your favorite show or movie to recharge before your next class!
If you have a break between classes you’re not thrilled about, don’t sweat it. There are many activities to fill your time.