It’s Friday! You’ve made it through another week of classes and long nights studying, writing essays or perfecting a speech that counts for 30% of your grade. Now, you have the weekend ahead of you.
Are you using that time to catch up on some much-needed R&R or are you plugging away at your work to create a clear path for the week ahead? This week, we start by talking with USF Biology majors, Michelle Roberts and Sofia Scholl to find out!
Roberts is on a Pre-Med track while Scholl is on a Pre-Dentistry track.
What does a typical weekday in college look like for you?
Michelle Roberts: I wake up hella early and I go to class and then I go either to my dorm and study until practice, which is at 2:30. And then, I get all my homework done between like 12 and 2. And then, I go to practice and come back, normally take a nap and then shower after practice and then I go out and do something, either like food or a movie or something.
Sofia Scholl: I get up early as well in the morning. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we [her and Michelle’s tennis team] have a workout for an hour. And then, I go to class and then I have lunch, do some homework and go to practice. And then dinner and then after dinner, homework or studying.
How many hours per day would you say you work on homework? Is any of that time spent in the library or in a study group?
Michelle Roberts: 2-3 hours per day. I’m in a writing tutoring class so I get writing tutored, Tuesdays and Thursdays. But other than that, I study in my room because I don’t like noise at all.
Sofia Scholl: 2-3 hours per day. I study in my room. I’m just in the library for my classes.
Coming into the week, do you usually have your week planned out or is it more of a day-to-day type of thing?
Michelle Roberts: Normally [it’s a day-to-day thing], because Mondays I don’t have any time to study because I literally go 9:00 A.M. to 9:30 P.M. for classes. With like, in total, a two-hour break. So, I don’t like, do any homework on Mondays. But then Tuesday, I wake up early [at 8:00 A.M.] and I get all my studying done for Bio, which is that day [at 11:00 A.M.]. Cause I study easier in the morning, when I first wake up.
Sofia Scholl: I try to have some plan for the whole week. […] If there are additional homework then I add them to the plan but otherwise, I try to do a lot of homework on the weekend so that I’m prepared for the new week. Then I don’t have to do as much homework on the weekdays.
Come Friday, do you have much to do over the weekend? Do you ensure that you leave time for R&R?
Michelle Roberts: Well Friday, I’m only getting my stuff done if I have stuff to do. But if it’s studying, I normally don’t have anything to study for Mondays so I study on Tuesdays. So, I don’t have that much, of like, a workload on the weekends unless it’s like, papers and stuff. […] I do all my studying on Sunday because I don’t have enough time during the week to do studying […].
Sofia Scholl: […] I do some work on the weekends but there’s time to like relax […] because that’s what the weekend is for. Even if I have homework due Wednesday or something, I’ll do it on the weekend so that I don’t have to hurry on Monday or Tuesday.
On the weekends, what are you doing in your free time?
Michelle Roberts: I’m normally with the tennis team at a friend’s house […] it’s normally a block away. We just sit around and watch matches all day.
Sofia Scholl: Same.
Do you wish you had more free time during the week and weekend?
Michelle Roberts: There could always be more time but I feel like tennis is like my relaxing time so I get two hours of calm everyday [Monday-Friday].
Sofia Scholl: Yeah there could definitely be more time but it’s okay.
Now, let’s travel back in time and talk with Dr. Robert Bailey, a graduate of Bradley University where he began as a freshman in 1990, to see how his college experience matches up!
What did a typical weekday in college look like for you?
Dr. Bailey: I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical weekday in college. You do, of course, do some of the same things from day to day—like going to class and such—but in reality, one of the great things about my college experience was that every day brought new experiences. But typical? Get up and go to class. Spend the afternoon in the dorms, in the quad, or at the fraternity house. Evenings were for studying, meetings, or hanging out with friends.
How many hours per day would you work on homework? Was any of that time spent in the library or in a study group?
Dr. Bailey: Per day? Probably 2 or 3, but not usually all at once. I did not tend to go to the library very much as an undergrad. Usually I studied in my room. Study groups were usually only for exams or projects. I don’t remember them being as big a thing back then.
Coming into the week, did you usually have your week planned out or was it more of a day-to-day type of thing?
Dr. Bailey: Only in the sense that I knew my schedule for classes, meetings, etc., but as I said before, one of the great things about college is the spontaneous way things happen. You could never plan out a week completely.
Come Friday, did you have much to do over the weekend? Did you ensure that you left time for R&R?
Dr. Bailey: Weekends were more for hanging out and going to events. Parties, movies, sporting events. Thursday and Friday were big for going out at my school. Saturday was usually more relaxed, and Sundays were for catching up and preparing for the week. If you had something big due, or a big exam on the way, though, it was not uncommon to stay in and study or work.
On the weekends, what were you doing in your free time?
Dr. Bailey: […] School sporting events—especially basketball games—were a lot of fun. Events sponsored by the school were common, too, such as movies on campus or even things like guest speakers or performers like bands or comedians. I was involved with my fraternity as well, social and philanthropical events, as well as extremely competitive intramural sports. Inter-fraternity rivalry was big, but mainly friendly competition on the field and court.
What do you notice has changed or stayed the same with how college students spend their weekends?
Dr. Bailey: I think the more things change, the more they stay the same. I don’t see that students are a great deal different now than they ever have been. There might be a little more focus on one aspect of weekends over another, but in truth, I feel like students still, for the most part, socialize much like we did way back when.
College life is unpredictable so you must be content rolling with the punches. In this case, both generations seem to understand that. However, in the hustle and bustle it’s important to smell the roses. There’s a whole world out there, go out and enjoy it!