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Bigger Pictures: You Have Plenty of Time. Really.

A bunch of old clocks

Ah… fall semester. If you’ve lived most of your life on the academic calendar year, like I have, you probably think of the new year as beginning in September. (Okay fine, August, but I find it best not to dwell on such unpleasantness, thank you very much.) In any case, this time of year always feels like new beginnings, an opportunity to do better, think deeper, become a better person. And I’m not alone. We all want to do so much. Students, faculty, administrators, humble blogging learning instructors, we all want to not only accomplish that certain something, but a whole bunch of other things, too. If there’s such a thing as a Penn gene, that’s it, and we all got it.

It’s no secret that here at your learning center, we get lots of early fall students who want to do ALL THE THINGS. So the worry grows: do I have enough time?

Let’s take a moment and consider the Basic Math of Undergraduate Time.

There are 168 hours in the week, and (theoretically) you are asleep for a third of them, leaving 112 hours. A 5cu load should, when accounting for class time, recitations and class-related tasks (you know, all that readin’ and writin’ and figurin’) you’re looking at a 45 hour commitment, leaving 67 hours for non academic stuff. So far, so good. Figure that the average meal should take about 20 minutes to consume and you’re left with 60 hours. Are you an athlete? Even after your 20 hour weekly commitment to the team, you still have 40 hours left. So, yeah, quantitatively speaking, you have plenty of time.

But these are just raw numbers, and when it comes to managing time, raw numbers are only part of the challenge.

But that’s a different post.


Staff Blogger: Pete Kimchuk, Senior Learning Instructor

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