Time Management Advice in coding while in College and having a Part time Job

Hi, I am a college freshman in the Philippines currently taking the course of Computer Science. I am practicing my skills in programming but the only problem is that I have hard time in managing my time to self-study while studying college and at the same time, having a part time job(not related to programming)

I love programming that is why I want to learn as much as possible. I really need advice on how I can be good in programming while studying in college and doing a part time job. Any tip will do

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I suggest Time Blocking, as in assigning specific jobs to your time - you could check Cal Newport for that, but he is not the only one around

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Welcome @jfp21!

Time management is one of those things that gets complicated for everyone as they gain more responsibilities.

The real key is making and sticking to a schedule - you only have a finite amount of time in your day, and ultimately have control over how you spend it.

And remember, you don’t need to spend every waking moment coding, or even need to code every day. Build a reasonable, consistent, and manageable habit and the results will come.

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Hi @jfp21 welcome to freeCodeCamp!

There is only so much time in the day, beyond the obvious advice like “don’t get distracted too much” you really have to use the time you have as efficiently as possible.

You should set priorities for the time you have. Like you don’t want to spend a bunch of time learning about a bunch of cool technologies, when you could be studying for a test for school. Your paying for school either directly or indirectly, so that should be one of the top priorities time-wise as you want to get your money’s worth by making the most of college.

This doesn’t mean you can’t go learn stuff you want, but rather you should strive to integrate stuff you want to learn with stuff you need to learn for school. So for example, if you want to learn Python, and your learning about data structures in class, why not go use Python to builds a few things to learn about data structures. In this sense your killing two birds with one stone.

Or, if you school uses another language to teach the basics of programming, say Java, and you want to learn about algorithms, you could go write out some algorithms using Java to further your experience with stuff you want and need to learn.

All of these are just examples, and you might have different goals or just really “want to learn all the things” and in that sense, then yea go out see what you can learn and integrate with your current school work!

Since your just starting with your schooling, be sure to put that first, and add your own personal stuff when possible when you can. Just be sure to priorities so you don’t end up spending all your time learning stuff you want, but not learning what you need to know to get thru school. :smiley:

Finally, its worth mentioning that in the long term I assume you want to get a job related to your degree in development or otherwise. So it might be worth looking into how you can start “stocking” your resume with projects you’ve been building now, as by the time you graduate (a few years down the line) you will have years of stuff to show off. Yea it might not be the prettiest or best code since you are just starting, but such is understandable. :slight_smile: Just putting the code/projects you build for school, or in your own time on github means you can show off all the stuff you have learned in one place.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:


Thank you @ilenia for that intriguing suggestion. I was fascinated by the concept of it. I am planning to use that time Management method starting my 2nd term. Hope it works well :grin:

Thank you so much @JacksonBates for that advice. I will keep that in mind while doing things in college

I definitely agree to your good advice @bradtaniguchi. 2nd semester has already started in my school and I already know the basics of Python thanks from the 1st semester.
I am currently studying html and css and soon be learning JavaScript because I am planning to start career in web development. Will it be manageable to learn other languages like JavaScript while learning deeper python in college? Or will it be better to just stick to the curriculum of my school?

What I know in my school is that learning the basics of web development will start at the 2nd semester in 2nd year which takes one more year for me to follow that curriculum. I already have the momentum in learning html and css that is why it will be waste to pause and learn again in 2nd year

Yes it can be manageable. I believe it actually helps a lot to learn more than 1 language when going thru a CS degree. The reason being is most CS degrees teach 1 core language, but focus primarily on the theory underlying all of programming, rather than focus on teaching you a bunch of technology or languages. The simple reason is the theory never goes out of style.

Learning 2 languages means you get to relate that underlying theory to 2 different languages at the same time. This means you get different perspectives and get to see the underlying concepts your being taught. Yes you may get confused between the 2 language syntax so I do suggest to focus on the one used for school more, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out and learn about other languages. I’d consider it “enriching” as long as it isn’t a “distraction” :slight_smile:

In college I was taught Java, but learned Python on the side, as I found Python to be pretty different than Java. I believe the experience helped me later when I had to go further into Java, and later JavaScript for group projects, as I had a better grasp at the underlying differences between the languages and overall a better perspective on what I was doing overall. (or at least more than the peers I was working with haha)

So I’d see this as a great opportunity for you to learn what you want (web development) while actually getting ahead for classes down the line. By the time the class rolls around and your peers are learning about the basics of HTML/CSS/JS you will have already learned that and then some, which should mean you can focus on other classes and ace that class.
Yes you will end up “learning it again”, but odds are you will probably forget some of the concepts, or at least be kinda bored. As one of my professors used to save about review, “its better to be bored than confused”.

So yea, learn it, and integrate it with what you want to do later. You might end up getting ahead in the process, and being able to do better in your classes down the line. By the time the class rolls around your ready, and could even take things further and learn extra stuff on-top of whatever assignments you have.

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Thank you so much for the advice :grin:
I will definitely learn from your experience. Thank you for the inspiration🙂

The Pomodoro technique helps me a lot.

When it comes to studying, it’s ideal to spread out your study sessions and mix up the questions you’re studying - this is called distributed and interleaved practice respectively and is discussed in this free coursera course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

I wrote a bit of a summary of that course in this post: Effective practice for deeper learning | Connor Lindsey

tldr: Aim for frequent, manageable study sessions (< 90min). Practice a variety of problems at a time rather than grinding the same ones over and over.

You may not feel like you’re learning as much in the moment, but studies show you’ll gain a deeper understanding this way.

Knowing that will help how you manage your time.

I have two main tools that I use to become productive:

  • Google Calendar
  • StayFocusd chrome browser extension

Simply allocate time to study in the calendar. Turn on your notifications, and you’ll find yourself being on a sort of deadline that you want to meet.

StayFocusd just removes any distractions on the web. It blocks websites that you have listed. It also makes it hard to change settings when you feel like unblocking something.

Unfortunately, as someone from the same country, education in universities is mediocre at best, so I wouldn’t rely solely on them. Fortunately for you, freecodecamp is already one of the best platforms for self-learning. I would also look into Open Source Society University on github where they list courses from top universities that are free.

It’s tough having to work part-time while studying college, but I believe you can make time for these extra lessons once you’re improved your time management.

HI @BowenWalker , @Ibaeni and @PixelIce !

Thank you for your comments.
It is best to comment on posts that are more current instead of reopening older posts.

This post hadn’t been active for over a year.
Unfortunately, older inactive posts tend to attract spammers with malicious intent so that is why we generally close posts after 6 months of inactivity.
Not sure how this post slipped through the cracks :woman_shrugging:

I have gone ahead and closed this post.

Thanks for your understanding! :grinning:

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