Life is all about balance—or at least striving towards it. College can be some of the best and most rewarding years of your life. However, making sure your grades stay a priority while also allowing plenty of time for a bustling social life is a bit of a juggling act. You only have four years, so make the most of it. Students can have it all as long as they practice some time management skills. Here are the best tips for maintaining a balance between school and your social life:
1. Avoid procrastination.
It might feel like your “best work” comes from the adrenaline of knowing a deadline is looming, but procrastination only sets you up for failure, anxiety, poor future work ethic, and the possibility of missing out on a social life. In college, assignments are usually given with very clear and far-reaching deadlines. However, parties and opportunities to hang out with friends pop up unexpectedly. By avoiding procrastination, you’ll have the flexibility to say yes to last-minute invites.
2. Experiment, but create boundaries.
The college years are when many students experiment with alcohol for the first time, and that can be okay—in moderation. Binge drinking and day drinking are relatively accepted in college, but addiction and substance abuse start somewhere. If you suspect you have a problem, such as feeling a “need” to drink in order to be social, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your student health services department immediately. Addiction is easiest to address in early stages, and you’ll be able to find tools for management and recovery.
3. Avoid taking morning classes on Friday morning.
If you’re a big fan of Thirsty Thursday, your Friday morning classes are going to suffer. With so many class options, why not design a three- or four-day course schedule? You’ll be very lucky to ever have this kind of freedom again, so take advantage of it. If you’re not a morning person, avoid taking classes first thing in the morning. Choose a schedule that works with your habits and lifestyle.
4. Be frugal so you can splurge when it matters.
In an ideal world, students wouldn’t have to take out student loans to fund their education. If loans are involved, it’s important to stick with a tight and frugal budget throughout college. Fortunately, many fellow students are in similar situations, and college students can be very creative when it comes to having a blast without spending cash. If you do have some disposable income, avoid blowing it on temporary “things” such as clothes. Instead, save (or pool with friends) to take a spring break outing that fits your budget and lets you have one of the most well-known college experiences.
5. Put your phone on airplane mode when you study.
It’s tough being connected to the world 24/7. However, scrolling Instagram or reading DMs when you’re supposed to be studying isn’t doing you any favors. Put aside time frames for studying and stay offline and disconnected for this time. You’ll find that you get better studying done faster, which makes room for a thriving social life.
Balance is a journey and takes practice throughout life. Things only get more challenging after college, whether it’s a job or grad school. Good habits now set the foundation for balance later in life.
For more awesome college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics!