Identifying your Big Rocks and Managing College Student Activities
We all know how crazy college activities could get
at a certain point in time. What with classes, conferences, and researches, there is no wonder that some are
hopelessly stressed out and confused and gets their priorities all mixed up. There are also those who balance a
part-time job while attending college.
Still, others have to balance out their studies with extra-curricular and civic
activities. Of course, you also need to spend time with old and new friends and attend social activities with
All these things are actually part of the activities a college students need to
contend with. Organizing your time in order to successfully accomplish your college degree and still do all the
other responsibilities is a feat you need to master.
First, you need to know how valuable each time of the day is and how to use it well
according to your activities in college. There is a well-told story in Steven Covey’s "The Seven Habits of Highly
Effective People" which has a profound tale of how to use your time well.
The story tells of a guy or a professor of some sort who stood in front of a class
holding a big jar, which he placed with big rocks. After filling it up with big rocks, he asked the class if it is
full and most said yes.
Then, he got smaller rocks and put them in the big jar too, along with the big ones.
The smaller rocks, of course fit in the jar. After which, he again asked if the jar is already full. Still, most in
the class said yes. Quite suspiciously, others said it seems full and others expressed their affirmation
After their reply, the professor produced a bag of sand and poured it into the jar,
too. The sand, of course filled out all the tinier spaces between the big and small rocks. After emptying the bag
of sand unto the jar, he again asks if it is already full. The class, already quite dubious, said sure it is
Whether the man is not satisfied, or is going on proving his point, he got out a glass
of water, which really did seeped up into the sand and ranks and finally filled up the jar.
After this, he asks, what the moral of the story is. The class, thinking that they
have spotted the trick, replied quite smartly that the moral of the story is that "you can always squeeze a bit
But, the man quickly pointed out that the real moral of the story is that “you need to
get your big rocks in first, or all that other smaller 'stuff' gets in way too soon and takes up all the
Indeed, it is quite true and really, a profound enlightenment concerning college
student’s activity time management.
First, you need to identify your ‘big rocks’ – the things that matter to you the most.
Of course, you could always squeeze in other minor activities along with your ‘big rock’ activities.
However, if you fail to point out your top priorities and always accomplish them
first, then you will never have the chance to finish them out. This is because those other stuff you are doing will
take up most of your time and drown your efforts for your top priority activities.
According to Covey, these are the Quadrant Two activities. Covey further reiterates
that if you fail to spend time putting the most important goal in your life as the first thing in your college
student activity schedule, then you will never get the chance to let your ‘big rock’ activity evolve and
This kind of time management is also a means of self-management. In fact, these two
concepts are the same things. College students must set priorities for themselves from number 1 or the most
important thing they want out of life, up to the least important but significant little stuff they need to do that
will support in their achievement of their most important goal.
Once you have listed down your ‘big rock’ goal or activity, then you must manage your
college student activities – studies, researches, extra – curricular college activities, civic duties and socials,
without ever straying far from your ultimate goal. Make sure that you do not end up doing everything but finish up
Spend the time to reflect on your reasons for being in college and your reasons for
involving yourself in other college student activities. Doing this cogitation helps you draw up the list of
priorities you need to accomplish.
Always remember Covey and his big rocks, though. In listing down your priorities in
life, always put in number one, your big rock activities.