Simple way to know how college students waste their time without realizing

College is the period of your life when you should be most present so that you can stay involved in various activities. However, most of the students make the mistake of wasting their time doing unproductive things which only exhaust them.

Jan 23, 2021, 13:38 IST
Time Wasting Habits of College Students
Time Wasting Habits of College Students

There is no doubt that College life is one of the most exciting and golden phases of one's life. For its the one place where both your academics and their practical applications are in perfect harmony. If utilized efficiently then the time spent in college can be your road to success. College campuses are the center of varied activities that you can involve yourself in also not to mention the value that some of these extracurricular activities add to your resumes. However, most of the students end up wasting their time in unproductive activities that have no learning or benefits. They don’t know that time and tide wait for nothing.What's more is that most of the time they aren't even aware that they are wasting away their precious time. Has it ever happened to you that you feel like taking a five minutes break while studying but by the time you return its already been an hour? If yes, then welcome to the club. But you need not worry for we have discussed the ways in which students waste away time without even realizing it.

1. Not serious about timings

We set very high aims for ourselves when it comes to studying. In a bid to catch up with the syllabus, or like in a lot of cases, just to pass in the test the next morning, we pull an all-nighter and try to study for long hours without taking any break. This, in fact, is quite a bad practice as one can only concentrate fully for only a limited time period beyond that our brain stops absorbing any information whatsoever. This phenomenon is often termed as study burnout. Also, make sure you have all your study essentials next to you before you settle down to study so as not to waste time looking for them once you start studying. 

How to avoid it:

It is advisable to take small and frequent breaks while studying so that you don't end up wasting time gathering stuff or being distracted. Study with full concentration when you do, so that you don't have to give up on your sleep as lack of proper sleep also weakens your concentration and focus.

2.  Maximum  time busy in Surfing the Internet

Gadgets are one of the major sources of distraction for college students. Surely, the internet has a lot to offer but instead of surfing the social media for a major part of your day it's better to use it for constructive things like researching information for a college project. In a latest research, the average time that a person spends per day on social media was calculated and it was concluded that we spend 40 minutes each day on YouTube, 35 minutes on Facebook, 25 minutes on Snapchat, 15 minutes on Instagram and  projected those figures out over a lifetime, arriving at a total of five years and four months. So you will spend precisely half a decade of your life on social media alone. Scary, isn't it?

How to avoid it:

Social media has become a necessity in today's times so we won't ask you to uninstall the apps but its advisable to keep a check on how much time you are spending on them. Suppose you have been online for about 20 mins but if you have done nothing but scrolled over memes, was that time worth it? Surely not, it could have easily been used for something more constructive like revising the notes for the next lecture you have after the break. So keep a check of the amount of time you spend online and how much of it was spend doing constructive activities.

3. Wasting time between classes

There are a lot of instances when two lectures are hours apart and the students have no choice but to stay in the college because going out would mean that they would not be able to return in time. The ones who live in the in-campus hostel can always go back and take a nap or rest in their rooms. But those who don't have to figure out some way to spend this free time and more often than not, they waste it away chatting with friends in the college canteen. Don't you think that time could have been put to better use reading some book or maybe playing a sport

How to avoid it:

Go to the library and revise notes from the last class or do some leisure reading on a subject of your interest. Play some sport or indulge in some other constructive activity that will help you in some way or the other.

4. Worrying without any reason

'Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere' by Glen Turner. This quote very much fits the situation that college students often find themselves in. It's not uncommon for students to worry about their future. College comes with a lot of stress and challenges but that doesn't mean that one starts worrying at every obstacle they face. Worrying often takes up hours wasting away precious hours. Sometimes it can even cause one's head to hurt making it difficult to focus or concentrate which eventually leads to lower productivity.

How to avoid it:

One of the easiest ways to tackle this problem is to write down your fear or whatever is it that has been bothering you. Then try to list them as rational or irrational. Worrying about things that are irrational or have no good reason of worry must be dealt with first as they are biggest time killers.

5. Doing unnecessary work/reading

Students usually spend a lot of their time doing things they can easily avoid. For example, just going on reading stuff which is obviously not that important. Just because your professor included that topic in the presentation doesn't mean that its important or would be asked in the exams. Go through the previous year's paper and pinpoint the important topics or the frequently asked questions and prepare accordingly.

How to avoid it:

Know what is important and prioritize your readings based on how necessary they are from the exam point of view. You can always read other things later when you have free time.

6. Avoid  paying attention to small  things

Students spend a lot of time doing assignments but tend to be careless about small requirements which were asked of them. For example, if you write a 100 marks assignment in 10 hours and end up having 10 marks deducted for applying the wrong font type or size, then your entire effort of writing the paper gets wasted away.

How to avoid it:

Pay attention and go through the list of mandatory requirements very seriously. Like when writing an assignment get it proof-checked by a friend so as to avoid making silly mistakes.


Hope these tips will help you understand the small tasks that end up eating away major chunks of your time every day. Taking breaks or wasting time when you know you are doing it is fine, at least you are aware and can make up for it later on. But, when you do that unconsciously it's very hard to make up for and you end up late on submission deadlines and other important things. For more such articles on college students and life in college please visit,, you can also get them directly in your inbox by submitting your email-id in the box below.

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