How to Balance School and a Social Life

Balancing school and social life can be one of the most difficult aspects of university life. For some, staying in the night before a test is easy. But for those like me, there’s always something tugging on your sleeve, distracting you from what you came to school for in the first place! Some people did themselves of a social life to maintain their grades while others choose to never look at their assignments and go out every night. These are polar opposite ends of the spectrum and NOT where you need to be. After all, getting a degree is the most important reason while you’re at college, but it doesn’t mean you’re signing your life away. We only get one opportunity at live. We only get to be young, dumb college kids once in our lives. This is why finding a BALANCE between those ends of the spectrum is SO important. Here are a few tips that will make that balance sooo much easier to achieve and your college experience the BEST of both worlds.

 

  1. Make a schedule at the beginning of the week 

 

I have a weekly calendar on my test that I fill up at the beginning of the week with all of my academic and organizational commitments. This lets me know what days I will be very busy and what days I won’t. By knowing this in advance, I won’t be surprised when the day comes and I am completely swamped. This also prevents me from overcommitting myself. With a visual idea of what all I haven’t going on, I am sooo much less likely to take on anything that conflicts with those things. For example, if I know from my schedule that I have a huge test on Friday morning, I am a lot less likely to stay out super late on Friday with my friends. Make sure and keep the schedule updated as you learn of new plans throughout the week. Having a clear idea of what you have going on makes balancing your academics and everything else so simple! 

 

2. Surround yourself with like-minded people 

 

Despite what others may say, peer-pressure is a REAL thing. Surrounding yourself with individuals that share your interests and goals is a great way to prevent peer-pressure from ruining your college experience. By having friends that are constantly going out, have no regard for their grades, constantly miss class, and stay out super late on weeknights, you’re surrounding yourself with people who value their social life considerably more than they value grades. But at the same time, if you only rock with people who never leave their dorm, never want to do anything but study, use the weekends for homework, and don’t do anything spontaneous, you’re not going to have any fun. To achieve a balance in your life, you need to have friends who value this as well. By being around others who share your priorities,  your influences are becoming good influences. There’s nothing wrong with your friends being spontaneous and fun, as long as they are also studious and dedicated in the classroom! 

 

3. Learn how to say no!                                            

 

For someone like me, who is a perpetual yes-man, it’s okay to say no. Your studies are more important than anything. Yes, your friends may need help on that college algebra test, but in making time to assist them in studying you can’t forget about the calculus quiz you have to be studying for as well. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants company on a trip to the grocery store, you can’t forget that essay you have due at midnight. Yes, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on EVERYTHING by saying no— but we have four years of college and four years of memories. One night with a “no” doesn’t erase the millions of good memories that started with a “yes”. Think about it; all those good times will feel a whole lot sweeter if at the ends of your four years, you actually have something to show for it. Being selfish isn’t usually a good thing, but with your study time you HAVE to be particular about how to spend it. 

 

4. Don’t overwhelm yourself with involvement    

 

Getting involved is one of the best ways to meet people on a college campus. Feeling apart of something can make that huge university feel so much more like home. But over-committing can make that home feel like “hell” in a hurry! Yes, being apart of numerous organizations looks great on a resume but not next to the 2.4 GPA that you accumulate after having no time to study. Playing sports is awesome, being affiliated with Greek like is wonderful, joining clubs is rewarding, being in student government is a difference-maker— but none of this matters if you don’t receive a degree. Pick a few organizations that you feel very strongly about and pour yourself into them. Involvement shouldn’t be a mile wide and an inch deep, but rather an inch wide and a mile deep. Don’t spread yourself so thin that academics are just another thing you half-way do. School should be the biggest priority and never let all of the fun things you do on campus cloud your judgement. 

 

 

While these are just a few tips, implementing them into your life will make a huge difference. I haven’t been in college very long but I’ve found these concepts to be so rewarding in both of academic and social life. I’m so grateful to have great friends and be apart of great things at MSU, but value my education above all. Thank you so much for reading; let’s KILL this week ladies!