Finding Balance in College
Throughout college, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the community around you, and I highly recommend seeking them out! However, it is easy to find yourself with too much ambition for what you can realistically do as a college student. As I learned, this can cause you to fall in over your head with school, work, clubs, sports, you name it. Here are some important tips that I have learned over the past two years that have helped me find balance in my crazy life as a college student to help with agenda setting, finding time for yourself, and recognizing the power in knowing when to quit.
Keep a Calendar
The first tip that I have for anyone in college—no matter where you are in your education— is to keep an updated calendar of your activities, due dates, classes, friend’s birthdays, etc. This will help with setting an agenda for your day and planning for the future. If you ever feel like you have too much to do and don’t have enough time, you may not be using your time effectively. Keeping a calendar helps with planning ahead, making sure you don’t overbook yourself, and keeping track of things that are important to you. Relationships are important to help you stay afloat in college, so even planning hang-out sessions or knowing when birthdays are can mean a lot. It also helps you make sure that you have time for some fun and lets others know when you are busy.
Find Time For Yourself
When finding time for yourself, something that helps me is taking a step back and learning from myself first, without societal influence. After a long week of school work, what would you rather do: spend your night with a big group of friends and go out to a social setting or spend a night to yourself or with just close friends and lay low? Understanding this can be a huge step to maintaining balance in your busy life. Setting this time aside at least once a week can clear your head and relieve some stress from your day-to-day activities. If you need to find this peace within the week during a busy time, meditation can be an incredible solution. Research which techniques may work best for you and practice them when you need a study or work break. Spending 15 minutes a day to focus on breathing and clearing your head takes a decent amount of effort, but can produce lasting effects.
Ask For Help
Something that I found very difficult when I started getting more involved on campus was recognizing the power of quitting. Oftentimes there is the pressure of letting others down, but when you have too much on your plate, you aren’t giving your best effort to each area of your life. I had to learn this the hard way when it was my grades that took the largest hit, and I started to notice I should be doing better in other aspects as well. Reaching out for help and explaining the claustrophobic situation that I was in (with too much to do and too little time) helped me realize the areas that were most important to me and the things that I needed to let go of to stay balanced and be successful. This doesn’t mean you should give up when you feel too busy or stressed out, but it means to not be afraid to ask for help when you feel this way and to let go of something if you recognize that it may not be able to fit into your life at the moment.
Time is your most precious resource, and these are the most valuable years of your life with opportunities around every corner. In college, you should be maximizing your time and energy to expand your potential as a student. Don’t let a busy schedule get you down, but be careful not to overload yourself. Use the tips above to help you find your place and success at school.