College, jobs, family, friends, extra-curricular activities: a lot of college students juggle some or all of these things in their daily lives. The real challenge, however, is finding the right balance with everything and still find time to sleep. After almost three years of college life, I’ve come up with a few tricks of my own. Organizing and keeping to a schedule, setting goals, quality over quantity, “Me” time, copious amounts of coffee, and learning to say “No”.
Being organized and keeping to a schedule is extremely important for my balancing act. Knowing when my classes are, what days and times I work, and when I have free time help keep me on time and on task. This isn’t to say that every minute of my days are scheduled, spontaneity is a good thing, but the bulk of my week days are planned out, mainly for classes and work. I also write everything down in my calendar, this is a definite safe guard against forgetting something for class because I was cramming for a test.
Setting realistic goals is also at the top of my list. My biggest goal is to get through my bachelor’s in two years, then tackle my master’s. But goals can be small too, like finishing a paper early so I can take a day trip somewhere. In that sense I get to check something off my list and get a reward for the hard work. It’s a win, win situation.
Quality over quantity and learning to say “No” have been the two biggest challenges for me to learn so far. Before college, and even at the start of it, I had a very active social life. I would do things and go to events, even if I wasn’t really interested, just be seen or keep from insulting anyone. The fact was, however, that it wasn’t realistic for my schedule and I wasn’t enjoying myself most of the time. With college being my main focus, I had to learn to decide which events I wanted to attend the most, who I wanted to spend my free time with, and politely say no to anything I didn’t want to go to. With the explosion of social media event invites, the trick is deciding which ones are best for you and your free time.
Scheduling in some “Me” time is an underrated event. Everyone, even really extroverted people, should invest in some alone time to de-stress, breathe, and recharge those batteries. It can even be something as simple as your favorite café, a walk in the park, a favorite book, or an afternoon nap.
Last but not least, copious amounts of coffee is the life blood of most college students. I am proud to say that I am an avid coffee addict. I like mine black and preferably strong enough to degrease a jet engine, but however you take it, coffee has helped millions of student survive and balance the rigors of a hectic college schedule. It has kept us awake during the driest history lectures, the most confusing math problems, and those late night paper writing sessions. So caffeinate often and find that balance. Cheers!