Home > Resources > Campus Life > College Lifestyle > Friends, School, Sleep. Pick Two

Friends, School, Sleep. Pick Two

It was 2 p.m. on a Tuesday, time to sit through another "History of the Andean Countries of South America" class. I don’t think that the professor even cared about this stuff. I hadn’t slept much the previous night thanks to preparing for an upcoming exam, and listening to him drone on and on was painful. I was just about to fall into a daze when my eyes fell upon a backpack pin.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Friends, School, Sleep: Pick Two", it read.

Never had I read words more true. There are so many hours and, somehow, so little time. Listening in on a few college conversations will make sleep deprivation and time management complaints sound banal. So where does all this time go? You might say that this is just a sign of the times. Job competition is fierce and you have to excel at school to make it.

But are we really spending that much time studying? In 2004, the National Survey of Student Engagement surveyed 620,000 students at 850 four-year universities to find out how college students really spent their days. Surprisingly, the study found that the average full-time college freshman only studied an average of 13 hours a week. Yes, freshman classes are usually easier, but hours spent on schoolwork weren’t much different for older students. By senior year, students reported studying only an hour more per week. In fact, only 11 percent of surveyed students reported studying for more than 25 hours.

According to the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the average college student gets six hours of sleep a night. Once you combine time spent on sleep with that spent on studying, the top 11 percent are still left with 101 free hours. One hundred fourteen free hours are still available for the average student. If you factor in the 15 average in-class hours, you have 86 and 99 spare hours, respectively. That’s a lot of time. So why do we always feel rushed? Let’s break down where all this time goes:

Student Time Usage: Hours Spent Per Week

  First-Year Students Seniors
  Part-time Full-time Part-time Full-time
Studying 9 13 10 14
Working on-campus 2 3 3 4
Working off-campus 18 5 20 10
Participating in co-curricular activities 1 5 2 5
Relaxing and socializing 10 12 10 11
Caring for dependants 13 2 12 4
Commuting to class 5 4 5 5

That takes care of many daily activities. When you take into account time spent on eating, exercising, phone conversations, showering, changing, styling hair, e-mailing, washing dishes, cleaning the home, shopping, paying bills, and sitting on your bed for 10 minutes before stepping out, your free time shrinks considerably. Before you know it, it’s late again. And even without an all-nighter in the cards, you know you’ll be tired.

Unless…nevermind. No, I really think we should. Grab your eye masks everyone: We’re skipping class and sleeping in tomorrow. It’s about time we made some time.

ADVERTISEMENT

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Which Student Loan Is Best for Me?

June 13, 2022

by Ashley Eneriz

The new semester is just around the corner, which means it is time to start thinking about how you are going to afford the new school session. Student loans can be taken out any time of the year and are useful for paying for textbooks, special classes or summer terms and additional living expenses. Choosing the right student loan can help you reach your education and career goals while still keeping your finances balanced. Here’s what to look for before you take out a student loan this summer. [...]

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2022 Scholarships

May 25, 2022

by Liz Montenegro

As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we reflect on the enormous contributions of Asian Americans and share their culturally rich history. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, with more than 23 million it total. However, API individuals, communities, and businesses have been disproportionately impacted by discrimination and criminal acts that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic in recent years. Now more than ever, we need to stand united as Americans against anti-Asian racism. [...]

Travis Scott's Foundation Awards 100 HBCU Student Scholarships

May 20, 2022

by Liz Montenegro

Now in its second year, Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Foundation awarded $1 million dollars to 100 high-achieving Black high school seniors with financial need. This scholarship, known as the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund, was named after Scott’s grandfather who was a Dean of the Prairie View A&M, as well as an alumnus. Each recipient won $10,000 that will be applied to their college educational expenses. These students have maintained a 3.5 or higher GPA throughout their high school career and will attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the fall. This year, all 38 HBCUs across the nation were represented among the recipients. [...]