Five Ways to Achieve a Work-Life Balance

We’re at a point the fall semester when everything is really starting to pick up. With midterm exams and essays starting to pile on, it can be difficult to feel like your days are anything but consumed with school work and extracurricular commitments. Fighting this consumption can be difficult, but never fear! Here are five tips to help you achieve a better work-life balance. 

  1. 1. Commit to exercising at least three times a week.

    To quote the illustrious Elle Woods: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” This statement couldn’t be more true, and potential murder aside… exercise is undeniably an important element to establishing a happy and healthy existence. Crucially, hitting the gym or going on a short hike three times a week can increase your productivity by eliminating stress and aiding in getting adequate sleep. Working out can also help you to establish a daily routine, which can make completing all those assignments a bit less painful. 

  2. 2. Find friends with shared values.

    three girls during golden hour

    Attending Zoom lectures, taking exams online, it can all get pretty lonely pretty quick, and to make matters worse, you still have the same amount of work you would have if this were a normal year. It’s easy to get caught up in your academics and isolate yourself; however, if you want to achieve a healthy work-life balance, this is the exact opposite of what you should be doing! So the solution is clear: find people who value their education just as much as you do. There are a variety of programs on campus geared towards connecting academically driven students. In fact, many majors have honors programs that you can join. 

  3. 3. Buy a planner.

    If you don’t have one already, I definitely recommend heading to your local Staples or Target to pick on up. I am honestly in love with my planner, it helps eliminate the anxiety remote classes can cause by helping me keep track of assignments, and it looks so cute on my desk. You can tailor your commitment to your planner as much as you want. Some people plan their days out by the hour from the moment they wake up, which is no doubt the most impressive time management I have ever seen, but if you’re like me, simply writing down when everything is due is enough!

  4. 4. Prioritize your work.

    In college, getting everything done on time is crucial, but when assignments start to pile up, it’s hard to know where to start. I’ve found that one of the best ways to tackle this issue is to figure out which assignments are the most important before you jump into your work. Now, I’m not advocating for ditching your 50 page Shakespeare reading so you can study for three hours for an exam, but if you designate this importance days or even weeks before a big assignment is due, you can plan your weekly schedule accordingly and avoid any stress. 

  5. 5. Call your relatives.

    College is supposed to be a place of self-discovery, independence, cooking for yourself for the first time- yikes, but I’m here to tell you it’s ok for you to call your mom and dad when the going gets tough or whenever you need some additional support. Remember, even if your parents haven’t attended college they too had to face the difficulties of living alone for the first time while also working or learning to support themselves. Sometimes their advice and perspectives can alleviate stress. Personally, I’ve even had my mom read over a thesis to make sure it made sense!

Okay massive understatement alert, but college can be hard. No duh right, but the key to forging a college experience that is healthy and purposeful can be establishing a good balance between the demands of school, work, and your life. So utilize those gyms, planners, school programs, and relatives to make your studies the best they can be.