Balancing College Life
Managing and balancing a lot of activities and going to school is a big commitment. But how much is really too much? Only you can answer that question, but I have some steps to take in order to make sure you can take it all on.
Step 1: School
This step is the first because ultimately, school should come before other obligations. Typically, I like to figure out what my schedule looks like, then prioritize. I think to myself, OK, what needs to be done and when is it due? I then mark my calendar for each one of my classes.
Step 2: Family and friends
This step should be the easiest, because family and friends are always there for you. Setting a schedule that fits every week or month to talk to family is always a good option. That way, you’ll never have to try to find time to talk to them. Many times students tend to magically forget about their loved ones at home once they’re independent at school. Don’t forget to give mom, dad, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents a call!
Step 3: Work
Whether you’re working on campus or off, you should be having some sort of fun! One semester, I found a job as a transfer ambassador in New Student Programs and I loved it. Find a job where you can be yourself. In my case, it was helping others and encouraging new students to choose Illinois. Also, make sure to try for a set work schedule so you can balance other factors like studying, as well.
Step 4: Extracurricular activities
This is one step that often trumps all and in most cases, shouldn’t. While Illinois’ huge array of Registered Student Organizations give you good experience and leadership skills, you cannot forget about other obligations and priorities. Balancing activities can be hard for people like myself who love to stay busy. I would suggest not getting yourself into more than three or four activities. Even that many is a lot! It all depends on how you prioritize.
Step 5: Yourself
The most important part of all the steps is to remember who you are. Do not get yourself so caught up in the college life that you forget your goals and aspirations. Remember to take a trip to the gym, hit up the hot tub, and even go to bed early some nights. Taking care of yourself is a big deal when trying to balance life as a college student. Make sure you’re happy and healthy but more importantly, remember to keep doing what you love. If you aren’t happy with something, try to look at it in a different light and make the best out of the situation.