Being in my Senior year of college I have had the many struggles of trying to do well in school, making sure I was a good employee, as well as making sure I was able to have a social life. It took me years of trial and error to try and figure out how to balance everything, with these tips I have been using the past year you’ll be organized, less stressed, and have more time to do things you love.
For years I would waste money on a nice planner that I would stop using a month into the semester and that’s when I would start to get overwhelmed with school work. Using a planner on a daily basis is important because I always tell myself I will remember things and then get home after a long day of classes and forget. Pulling out a planner at the end of each class and writing down important information can keep you organized and on top of everything. I also make it a priority to write down when I need to start assignments and how long I have to complete them. I find that writing down when something is due doesn’t help me spread out the work.
2. Don’t Overload
Sometimes we want to try and do everything at once but overloading yourself with work and activities can cause you to crash. I wanted to join multiple honor societies and clubs in order to be more involved with my university but the commitments to each of them were time-consuming and overlapped. I took a step back and weighed out the pros and cons of all the school activities I wanted to participate in, from there I realized which ones would be more beneficial to me and my future and was able to fully commit. I also want to emphasize that you don’t have to overload your semester with classes. I was always terrified about not graduating college in 4 years because I felt as if that was frowned upon. I decided to take my time and graduate a semester later than planned. This lifted so much stress from my life and it helped me to balance my workload because I did not have as much going on.
3. Talk To Your Professors
I never knew how important it was to form a relationship with my professors, it can be hard for them to help you or understand your stress if you do not communicate with them. I always thought I could handle my classes on my own and if I didn’t understand something I would spend so much time online or looking through notes to try and figure it out. Don’t waste your time and take advantage of the office hours your professors provide for you. I found that when I start to struggle with a class I reach out to my professors and look for extra guidance, it relieves a lot of stress and I feel like I don’t waste time trying to find the answers that I don’t have.
When focusing on school, work, and other activities sometimes you forget to stop and take a minute for yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself then eventually you will run out of energy. Usually once a week I treat myself to a dinner out and then a relaxing night with wine, face masks, and a movie. It’s nice to take this time to relax and not worry about all the things I need to do. I try to make sure I don’t plan a lot of work for that day to give my mind a little day off. Your body and mind are what keep you running and able to do the things you love so don’t work yourself too hard.
5. Set Goals
Having a long term goal can be great but for me personally I tend to get discouraged when it takes a lot of time to get to that goal. If I have a long term goal I set smaller goals that will help me to reach that long term goal. Hitting those checkpoints or smaller goals makes me feel better about what I am doing and I feel like I am getting something done. Having goals also makes me more productive because I know how accomplished and proud I will feel when they are completed. Going into college I never thought I could be a straight-A student but I set goals for myself and worked harder than I ever did in High School and after a couple of semesters I finally reached that goal and still work to get straight A’s.
6. Create Daily Routines
On days I don’t have a routine in place I end up sleeping past noon and then I get nothing done that day. When I wake myself up early and follow a routine I tend to get more stuff done and feel more organized with my life. Each week I know I have classes in the morning and work in the afternoon. So I put my activities and tasks that need to get done where I have free time. My class times and work schedule never change so it is easy for me to follow a routine and I know what needs to get done when. Knowing how my day is going to look reduces my stress.
Balancing school and other activities are going to be different for everyone. A routine that I follow can be completely different than one of my friends might follow. It’s important to use some of these different tips to figuring out what works best for you. It might take some trial and error and not every day will be perfect. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and can make your classes easier. Focus on the things you love to do, make time for them by planning out your day, and don’t forget to take care of yourself during the process.