Finding a proper balance between college, social life, and work can be tricky initially. Yet, it is essential for academic success and overall well-being. In this guide, you’ll learn how to do that easily.
Identify Your Priorities
The first step in creating a balance is the identification of priorities. You need to set them straight for each aspect of your life, including:
- Social Life;
Often, students disregard their physical and mental health in favor of other responsibilities. But if you are not going to take care of yourself, you risk facing severe consequences like constant stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, and developing illnesses. So well-being should be one of the top priorities alongside studies and social life.
Create a Support System
Everyone needs support that comes in various forms. This includes emotional support from family and friends and educational support from professors, tutors, or peers. Also, helpful resources and applications go into this category.
For example, if you are worried that you are going to struggle with academic writing, have a useful platform bookmarked on your computer. On professional academic writing platforms, you can buy apa research paper services and get instant help with any other type of college assignment. Such platforms deliver writing, editing, and proofreading help for all students in need. And they do it fast and with excellent results.
So you can get expert advice and guidance on the way. Whether you want the whole paper done from scratch or need it to be polished, professional writers are happy to help. Having such a support system takes a lot of stress off students’ shoulders. Also, it saves time to have everything on the tip of your fingers when needed.
Set SMART Goals
The next step is to set goals for each aspect you identified. The goals must be SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
For example, “being a good student” is not a good goal because it does not qualify for these five categories. On the other hand, “gain 18 credits during the second semester” is a much better goal.
When your goals are achievable and measurable and have set deadlines, it is easy to turn them into a plan of action. You can break down each of them into a list of things you need to do to get the desired result. This way, it is not an abstract idea anymore but a realistic purpose you can fulfill.
If you deal with many responsibilities, the best option is to have a digital schedule. There are plenty of apps with all the necessary functionality. For instance, Google Calendar is pretty convenient and free to use.
To make sure your schedule works for you, follow these tips:
- Start with putting your classes in;
- Add deadlines to projects and papers with reminders;
- Set reminders when you need to start revising material or writing a paper;
- Put in time for study sessions;
- Plan transportation time (get to the campus or work);
- Set work time if you are employed;
- Define time for regular chores like groceries, washing, or cleaning.
After you’ve added everything you have to do, you can see how much time you have left. This can be used for things you want or need to do, for instance, going out, meeting with friends, or watching a movie.
Learn to Say “No”
The harsh truth is that you can only do so much in a day. This is why you need priorities and goals. After all, you will have to sacrifice something to achieve them. But ensure you do not always sacrifice your rest – this is a bad idea.
Students must be realistic about their energy, time, and resource limits. You will need to say “no” to some things. Those could be things that are not on the list of your priorities or something you do not want to do. Maybe it is an additional project or a party you are not excited about.
Saying “no” can be difficult sometimes, but it is an essential skill that will be handy for your whole life. Do not take more than you can handle on yourself.
Work Smarter, not Harder
Efficiency doesn’t mean you have to study for 11 hours a day. It means that students have to figure out ways to be productive and make the most of what they have.
- Study when you are more focused (in the morning or at night);
- Use learning methods that work for you (spaced learning, repetition, flashcards, etc.);
- Take benefits from supporting technology (proofreading tools, planning apps, or research databases);
- Beat procrastination with techniques like Pomodoro;
- Do one thing at a time because multitasking never works;
- Use the commuting time for something useful, for instance, do your class reading or revise materials.
Create an environment that is comfortable for you regarding your studies and work. It should be relatively calm and productivity-inducing.
Unwind from Stress
College is stressful, so it is essential to recognize the warning signs and act upon them. If you feel stressed, pay constant attention to your mood, sleeping patterns, focus, and physical symptoms (stomach problems or pains). Anxiety, persistent irritation, lack of motivation, and worsened memory can also be signs of stress overload.
Every student must have a set of things to do to relieve stress. The choice is individual, but here are some activities that might help:
- Regular physical exercise;
- Meditation and yoga;
- Hobbies from drawing to gaming;
- Breathing exercises;
- Talking to people you love;
- Interacting with animals;
- Gardening, etc.
Find what works best for you – reading, writing, or jogging. Always make time for the things you enjoy. After all, college is not only about productivity and success but also about having a good time.
Although establishing balance can be challenging for students, it is not impossible. Follow these guidelines to identify your priorities, goals, and expectations. Take care of yourself, and do not forget to relax and unwind when stressed.
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