Be Intentional With Your Free Time: It's What Constitutes Your Success This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 13, 2017
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Three months have elapsed since I abandoned everything I was familiar with, moved to Chicago, and embarked on my college career.

If I’ve come to conclusion about anything, it’s that the amount of free time I have had in college is the most I’ve had in my life.

Don’t get me wrong?—I’m taking the maximum amount of credits for a full-time student, I have a part-time job, and am involved with student organizations. Every college student still spends more time outside the classroom versus inside, and if one can use that “free” time to their advantage, an immense amount of progress can be made.

Most college students don’t invest in their own craft.

Most college students sleep in when they could be starting their day earlier, and thus, accomplishing more.
Most college students don’t view their time as an asset.

Going to class, going to work, and doing what is expected is the baseline. It’s the starting point. If you want to be the best in your field, you need to work harder than everyone in your field. This includes working in your free time. The people who occupy themselves with personal projects, attend seminars when it’s not required, go out and make mistakes, and take advantage of the 24 hours they have in their day are the ones who come out on top.

Don’t get caught up in what is diverting most people from their own lives: cell phones, technology, and social media. What are you really acquiring from investing in Instagram, Twitter, or Netflix series? Are you truly reaping benefits from going out every weekend and getting wasted? Think of how many hours you have not taken advantage of because you viewed free time as leisure time.

The reason I’ve seen the most advancement in my writing is that I wrote when it wasn’t required. I spent my Friday nights reading sophisticated books, which expanded my lexicon and exposed me to different styles. I searched out when successful journalists came to talk in my community. I viewed my “free time” as learning time, not just hours that could be wasted watching Netflix.

There’s an abundance of activities that can contribute to growth, whether it’s exercising, journaling, meditating, or even dieting. You have to choose what activities can add significance to your life, and pursue them when everyone else is not.

It’s time you start shifting your view on free time.

You don’t always have to be doing stuff for yourself, either. Advocating for a cause, serving someone in need, joining community service projects are all things that can be fulfilling. Even something so simple as conversing with another person can provide deep benefits. Connections can be formed, different ideas can form perspectives, and one can become a better listener.

Think of how much growth you could accumulate in a day, a week, or even a month after being intentional with your free time. I’ve met lots of well-meaningful classmates and even adults in my life who dream big but don’t commit to the work required to attain their goals.

Becoming superior requires working harder than everyone else. Depending on how focused or distracted you are, free time can be your greatest asset or biggest liability. I hope you are deliberate with your choice.

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