Sleep, Study, Socialize: Can You Do It All?

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Most students have heard the statement that it's only possible to attain two out of three goals while in college: enough sleep, ample study time and a thriving social life. 

When you work towards achieving your ambitions and excelling in school, you might have to choose between devoting your few leisure hours to sleep or social activities. And when you're involved in campus organizations that require a high time commitment, you may need to choose between squeezing in either sufficient sleep or study time.

Many students believe that this tradeoff is the reality of college. Time management is an obvious answer to this predicament, but sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve a balance between all three goals. Some students remarked that it could be possible to attain all three, but that they make the conscious choice to forego one goal for another. Others claimed that less demanding majors give students the time to achieve all three goals. However, every major presents its own time-consuming aspects at Penn.

If the tradeoff is, in fact, inevitable, how do we survive at a constant extreme? The answer depends on your values. In our daily routines, we do make some time for all three goals, but we choose to spend more time on the activities that matter most to us. As one student said, we consciously choose to sacrifice one activity in order to make time for our priorities.

So then the true question is, “Where do our priorities lie?” Do we care most about sleeping, getting involved or producing good grades? There's no easy answer, as all three are fundamental to our well-being and success as college students.