Rock, paper, screen?

Rock, paper, screen?

One of the biggest problems college students face is time management.  In fact 28% of US college students drop out in their first year but it isn’t from a lack of ability or intelligence.  It’s usually about smaller hurdles that build up over time, like procrastination and feeling overwhelmed by the sudden shift to being fully responsible for their learning.  I wanted to know more, so I worked with college seminar students to figure out why, with the abundance of smart phones and apps, they had such a hard time getting their work done, attending all their classes and balancing their lives.  Well, it turns out that paper beats screen!  

Every fall, I teach a section of what most colleges call "first year experience" or "college seminar."  

The one I am lucky enough to teach is called The Happiness Equation, and weaves together ways students can increase daily happiness and tips for college success, such as time management, note-taking, and effective studying techniques.  I created my own notebook for my students including traditional paper weekly planner pages, and taught them how to use it in my "old school" way.  

Given their attachment to their cell phones, I didn't expect what happened next.  By the end of the semester when I asked students to evaluate the course, guess what they loved the most?  

The paper planner!  Their calendar apps weren't helping them - a paper planner was!  Most of us are visual learners so it makes sense that every student said the same thing - how writing out their commitments by hand and being able to see their week as a whole helped them better manage their time and stay organized.  

They experienced a sense of control that lessened their stress and increased their performance in school, at home and at work.And that is how the Centered Student Planner was born!   But it is far more than a paper planner - it is an academic mentor within a time management system.

It combines the best vertical week at a glance format with positive psychology tips and college success coaching on every page.  Each week, students can get personalized support through short videos that show them how to manage college life.  The key is the personalized support from a teaching professor with 30 years experience and access to the tools students need to be successful.

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