Realities of College Life Balance According To Real Students

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    College life can be filled with so many responsibilities it can be hard to keep track of them and to maintain a healthy balance. College life can take up more than forty hours a week and can involve anything from work and internships to sports and clubs. As a result, college can be one of the most exciting or stressful experiences of your life, but often it’s a mix of both. The idea of it is to keep it on the exciting side despite the workloads and the amount of responsibilities. In order to do this, you need to maintain a healthy balance between all of the aspects of your life while you’re in college. 

    Tips

    • Limit yourself in how many responsibilities you take on. If you’re taking a full credit load, don’t expect to be able to do more than a few other things such as clubs, sports, or work.
    • If you have so much going on that your fun and relaxation time is no longer enjoyable, you should work on it and decide what’s most important to you.
    • Have good health and scheduling habits. All these aspects of your life go hand in hand. If you get plenty of sleep, eat well, and keep a good schedule, then chances are you’ll find a good balance that works for you as time goes on and you’ll easily be able to realize if you can handle more or less responsibilities.
    • Start small and work your way up, not the other way around. Too many people start out by joining multiple clubs, getting a job, playing a sport, and having a relationship, only to realize it’s too much and then they have to go quit. That is much more frustrating than having started small and then taken on more responsibilities.
    • If you’re having trouble keeping up with all of the responsibilities in your life, consider whether or not you’re procrastinating or making poor use of your time. That’s not to say you can’t have free time, but if you find yourself worrying about your responsibilities and then choosing to put them off, then that might be a bigger problem than the actual number of things you’ve taken on.

    Priorities

    • When you’re trying to get involved, start by getting your priorities straight first. 
    • Make a mental list of what is most important in your life, with the first ones obviously being things like friends, family, and classwork. After that, think of the next most important aspects of your college life. This might vary depending on who you are. Whenever college life gets stressful, because it definitely will, you should be able to fall back on your priorities. For example, during final exams, you might have to call out of work or miss a club meetingEverybody else will have the same sort of scheduling conflicts so most people understand.
    • Consider the pros and cons of what you’re doing and whether you should continue. Consider the following:
      • Classes: Are you making the most of your education, maintaining a reasonable GPA, and passing your classes?
      • Work: Are you getting enough financial aid without working? Do you need the extra money? Do you have the time and flexibility to commit to a job?
      • Extracurricular activities: Do you have enough time to put forth sufficient effort to contribute to the group? Will doing so impact your ability to contribute to other groups you’re already in?
      • Research/internships: Are they important enough to your career to squeeze them into an already tight schedule? 
      • Relationships/social life: Are you giving yourself plenty of time to get work done? On the same note, are you spending too much time on school work and need a break?
    • Another general priority you should have in mind is your general health. Are you eating well, sleeping well, getting exercise, and drinking plenty of water? Are you mentally healthy and generally happy? This can be the root cause of some of the other stressors and frustrations in your life so it’s important not to neglect them. 
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    Sean Fowler

    Writer

    Aerospace Engineering at UMD, intending to specialize in aeronautics with a focus on aerospace structures and design.

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