tips for balancing social life and school

10 Tips For Balancing School And A Social Life In College

This one's for the overachievers with serious FOMO.

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Of course, college is primarily about getting an education, but these are also supposed to be the so-called "best years of our lives," and if you are anything like me, it takes very subtle convincing to put our responsibilities on hold to go out and have a good time with friends. After a semester in college, I think I've been able to identify a few things that help me to avoid my fear of missing out and still meet the high expectations that I set for myself academically.

1. Invest in a planner

Honestly, I don't know how I would survive without writing my every responsibility in my planner. At the beginning of every semester, I block off an hour or so to write down every single due date for all of my classes. Doing this prevents random assignments from popping up out of nowhere and allows me to map out my week and look ahead to see what to expect for the coming weeks.

2. Utilize the weekdays and time in between classes

If you want to spend most of your weekends having fun, it is absolutely vital to use every minute of your free time during the week to knock out all of your upcoming assignments. No matter how loudly your bed is calling your name during that awkward 2-hour break between classes, resist the temptation and spend it being productive and getting ahead of your workload.

3. Don't procrastinate!

While it can be difficult to convince yourself to do an assignment a week in advance, you'll thank yourself later when you aren't scrambling to finish your Chemistry homework on Friday night 30 minutes before the 11:59 due date when you'd rather be doing just about anything else.

4. Identify the best study setting for you

Whether it be a silent study room or the middle of Starbucks, identify what setting allows you to be the most productive. Staying focused allows you to get more done in a shorter period of time, giving you more free time in the long run.

5. Limit your distractions

If you want to spend a decent amount of time away from school, efficiency is key. Putting your phone away and closing your online shopping tabs for an hour while doing your homework or studying is much better than half-focusing for double the time and not getting as much accomplished.

6. Set realistic goals for yourself and reward yourself for accomplishing them

Having a to-do list for the day can help you stay on track with your assignments and crossing things off can give you a sense of accomplishment. I also like to give myself some motivation to get everything I have planned done, such as telling myself if I finish writing an essay tonight, I will have time to go to the basketball game tomorrow.

7. Keep up with your course work

Most college exams cover a decently broad time span, so staying on top of your studying as you learn new information can be beneficial for retention and save you time. For example, soon after a lecture, I like to make flashcards so I don't have to pull an all-nighter in the library the day before an exam making my study materials.

8. Make friends that you can study with

Even if you are a professional at time management, there will still probably be some nights that you'll have to sacrifice having fun for a homework night. Making friends that you can study with can make these nights a little less painful because you can socialize and be productive simultaneously.

9. Don't forget to take care of yourself

College is always going to be extremely busy and there will always be things to get done. Although the occasional all-nighter before an exam or substitution of a meal for coffee may be necessary, don't let these things become a habit. If you don't take care of yourself you'll likely end up even more stressed out. Sometimes, you just have to chill and do a face mask.

10.  Decide what is most important to you

Missing one night out that probably won't live up to your expectations is probably worth getting an A on your exam, but missing one homework assignment to tailgate the biggest game of the year probably isn't the end of the world either. Decide what is most important to you while keeping potential consequences and your goals in mind.



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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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