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Health Wellness

To The Person Struggling To Balance College Life: Me Too

It's not always easy.

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I am a full-time college student, but I also work a part-time job, have internships to help me get into veterinary school, and still want to keep up a decent social life. In my two years of college so far, I've found the hardest part is balancing everything.

I need a job to pay my bills, get groceries, and keep my cats healthy. But I need to study for the two exams and three quizzes I have coming up. And I have homework due at 11. But wait, I haven't worked out yet today, I need to fit that in. But I also promised my friend I'd go to dinner with her.

Do you know what I'll do?

I know that's been my coping mechanism a couple of times when I've had too much on my plate. In college, it seems like you have so much to do and just not enough time in the day to do it all. I have spent countless nights staying up until the sun is rising to fit everything in with the little time I have. But that is not the healthy way to do it.

I know everyone says it, but it really is so true.

You need to PRIORITIZE.

School is always priority number one, so don't feel bad canceling on friends, rescheduling something, or getting your shift covered at work.

You have your work schedule two weeks in advance and most professors will give you a pretty reliable schedule for the semester regarding due dates and exam dates. Plan accordingly. If you see that there's a day you're going to have some pretty tough exam(s), request that day and the day before off from work to give yourself some extra study time without the stress of having to pause your studies for a shift. I discussed with my manager a pretty regular work schedule so I know that every week I'm working the same couple days and can plan around that, devoting the days I don't have to work to studying for an upcoming test. I also would request random days off throughout the month to give myself a nice break to allow me to relax and catch up on things if I need to. It's always a nice surprise to get my schedule and have days off that I forgot I even requested. It has been an excellent strategy to allow me to recuperate.

As an aspiring vet, internships are very important during my undergrad years. Last semester, I had three internships while working part-time and being a full-time student and let me tell you; it was ROUGH. Most days I was up no later than 9 am and didn't finish with my day until 7 pm, not to mention needing to do homework and study as soon as I got home. My weekends were devoted to work, when I wasn't in class I was at one of my internships or studying, I had no free time and honestly didn't get the amount of sleep I should have been getting either. It was well worth being able to add so much to my veterinary school portfolio, but I will never do that again. Do not make the same mistake as me and pile on things because "you can handle it". Just because you can handle it does not mean you should. The more you add to your agenda, the harder it will be to balance it all and the easier it will be to only give a half-hearted effort into everything.

Social life should obviously be the lowest on your priorities. But that doesn't mean you should totally neglect to do anything fun. Let yourself have a day, or a night at least, to just hanging out with your friends, let loose, and let your stress melt away. Being social is a great way to relieve stress and is very important to mental health as well.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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