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6 Tips for Balancing Life in College

It’s something we all struggle with: time management. I know it’s something I’m continually working on, and at times, really failing at. It’s hard to keep up with schoolwork, hang out with friends, participate in hobbies, stay involved in clubs, work out, get enough sleep and make time to relax. It seems like I’m always having to sacrifice something. Personally, sleep is the first one to go, which is probably the most important one. Oops. 

If you’re like me and need some help figuring out how to balance it all, here are some tips I try to remind myself:

Make a list.

Visualizing the tasks you want to accomplish can help put into perspective just how much time you need to set aside to get everything done. Buying a planner has been a huge help to me.

Prioritize each task on the list.

Everyone’s priorities are different. For me, getting my homework done and going to the gym are two of my highest priorities. I usually go to the gym in the student center and then stay there afterwards to do homework until I’m finished or mentally exhausted. Finding ways to get two things done at once can be very productive and satisfying.

Be aware of your phone usage.

Smartphones are helpful but extremely distracting when you are trying to focus get things done. When I do homework, I’ll catch myself getting sucked into social media for way longer than I should. I could be getting so much more done a lot quicker if I just put my phone away.

Don’t let FOMO get in your head: learn to say no when you need to.

This one is definitely easier said than done, but so necessary. Some days it can be really tempting to throw all priorities out the window to hang out with friends. Being spontaneous is great, but not when it comes at the expense of carrying out your responsibilities. There are plenty of other days to hang out with friends, so say no when you need to. Use your best judgement to decide what you do and don’t have time for.

Treat yourself kindly.

If you aren’t feeding yourself, getting exercise and sunlight, or being healthy, it will make balancing life a lot more difficult and even compromise your mental health.

Take a break when you need to and when you can.

Sometimes you simply have too much on your plate. Take a break, meditate, treat yourself. Do something that brings you happiness. Your happiness and wellbeing are of utmost importance at the end of the day.

Faith Malinowski

Columbia Chicago '23

Faith is a junior majoring in journalism with a concentration in magazine and a minor in photography at Columbia College Chicago. She loves all things art, poetry, literature, music, concerts, health, travel, and adventure.
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