Balancing Everything in College

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Every college student at some point has struggled with balancing a busy schedule of class, social lives, and personal health. The key to keeping your life in check is to always remember the important parts of a balanced lifestyle and if you need a little help, here are six tips to balancing your college life.

Top Six Tips For Balancing College Life

1) Learn to Study Like a Champ: Yes, everyone has to study at some point during their college career (or so we would think). There are many ways to figure out a studying routine that works for you. Whether it’s being tucked away in the library or in your room, make specific blocks of time in your schedule to dedicate towards studying and learning your course materials. Be mindful of when you are most alert and focused during the day, and take advantage of that time instead of trying to cram before an exam; which can lead to increased stress levels and hinder your academic performance. Not sure where to start? Try different apps and websites that help create positive study habits like Focus Booster, IStudiezPro, StudyBlue, etc.

2) Time Management for the Win: Stop the procrastination and all-nighters! Between your classes, study sessions, projects, internships, and social outings, it is possible to get things done without sacrificing your sanity and sleep. College is challenging and managing time becomes difficult because your schedule can be very different each day. If I asked you right now what your three biggest stressors are from now until the end of the semester, I know you could tell me. If you already know what they are, instead of procrastinating and pretending like these stressors don’t exist until you’re forced to deal with them, make an action plan now to include small steps to successfully getting through those stressors before you become completely stressed out and frazzled. Plus, if you’re going to spend half your day on your phone tweeting, etc., use it for your benefit and improve your time management through the use of a few apps like Focus at Will, 30/30, Remember the Milk, Super Notes, and Google Keep.

3) You Are What You Eat: You’ve heard this saying, so embrace it, and become what you eat! Meaning, the better you eat, the better you can perform academically and physically. In numerous studies, it has been proven time and again that students who ate healthy, balanced meals before exams performed better than those who ate foods filled with sugar, grease, excess fat, etc. Thinking about grabbing a quick bite to eat before a test? Skip the fried/fast food and opt for an on-campus dining solution that is “Wolf Approved”, or look for the “Dietitian’s Dish” options online, or browse dining options and look for places that offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, like One Earth, Jason’s Deli, etc.

4) Strive for 150 Minutes: When you are so consumed with studying, socializing, and attending your classes, it’s fairly easy to put physical activity and exercise on the back burner. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, we should strive for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Although it may sound like a lot, things like walking to class, walking your dog, etc. count as physical activity. Plus, research shows that exercise improves mood, boosts energy, increases relaxation, promotes better sleep, and more. If those aren’t good enough reasons to get your weekly 150 minutes- exercise with a friend who will keep you accountable.

5) Use Your Campus Resources: One of the awesome things about college is that you are surrounded by great campus resources that are just waiting to be utilized. Feeling overwhelmed? Check out the Counseling Center during walk-in hours, or make an appointment. Utilize your University Recreation resources and join an intramural sports team, or go to a fun Specialty Group Fitness class. While you’re at it, do yourself a favor and get a nice massage from Student Health Services. Or, improve your professional network and resume with the helpful staff at the Career and Development Center. I could go on, but you get the point. Everything you need to become your best self is here on campus, so use it while you can!

6) Socialize to Reduce Stress Build-Up: According to research, we generally need six hours of social time each day! Those six hours include time at work, at home, on the phone, talking to friends, sending emails, and other forms of communication. In fact, results from a recent study show that each hour of social time decreases the odds of having a bad day. Crazy, right? While it’s good to have one or two close friends, making new friends is also great for your overall social well-being. What better place to make new friends than on a college campus? Just make sure you create a balanced schedule so your social life isn’t taking over your other priorities like going to class, studying, working, etc.

The last thing you need to know about balancing college life is understanding that all aspects of your well-being are intertwined. If you are struggling in one area of your well-being, you’re likely struggling in other areas as well. For example, when you procrastinate and pull an all-nighter, you become stressed, avoid socialization, and get little sleep, which in turn affects your brain function (Sleep powers restoration throughout our body, like improving memory), it affects your mood (we are likely to become cranky without enough sleep), and more. Keep this fact and top 6 tips in mind for a balanced and successful college lifestyle.

Always Howlin’
Alan