We all know at least one person who adheres to an extreme end of the following spectrum. There's the guy who spends hours on end and way too much time on an assignment that's only going to count for a very small portion of his grade, who doesn't know how much is too much when it comes to studying. You never see this person outside of the classroom. Then, there's the girl you know who's in a sorority on top of being the president of an organization, a regular member of 3 other clubs and has a part-time job all on top of taking 16 credits. Also, there are the people you know who skip class most of the time, and you know they're really just in college for the social aspect. And finally, there are people like me, who wait til the very last second to do anything, no matter how large or important the assignment, but still manage to pull off the grades.
A piece of advice every college student needs to hear and consider, including me, is to find a happy medium.
The pressures of college can be intense. You need to take a certain amount of classes to complete your program(s), but you're told that you won't be hired unless you have an extensive list of extracurriculars on your resume, and at the same time you're struggling to pay for books and other necessities and you need to keep that part-time job, but sometimes you just want to lay down and take a nice nap. Some people even struggle with keeping up with just one or two of these things, and that's okay too, as long as you find balance.
If you're one of those people who does everything and anything you possibly can and feel incredibly good about it, that's awesome. I wish I had the energy and motivation to do as much as you do. But if you're one of those people and you feel like you're absolutely breaking under the weight of everything you're trying to do, it's okay to slow down a little bit. It may seem like you don't have any other option but to over do it, but that isn't true. When you over do it, your physical health suffers, your mental health suffers, you begin to feel unhappy and that can result in not doing well in your classes and falling behind on other obligations.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with admitting you are struggling.
Figure out where you need to make changes in your life, even if that means skipping a club meeting or two to take some time to see the therapy dogs. It is totally okay to make sacrifices for the sake of your well-being.
On the other hand...
If you find that you put off your assignments til the last minute, you feel so much pressure from your classes that you're afraid to dive into your work, you have so many different ways to approach this based on what you feel is best for you!
First and foremost, everyone learns and experiences college differently. Taking an extra year, taking summer classes or taking fewer credits per semester are all options that are valid.
People tend to get into this weird mindset of one-upping each other like, "I'm taking 18 credits this semester! I'm sooooo stressed all the time!" and someone will respond, "Not only am I taking 18 credits, but I'm also rushing a fraternity and I have meetings every week for this other club I'm in!" Students sometimes try to get pity points from one another by constantly complaining about the number of things they're involved in. Having a stressful week is one thing, but acting like you're superior to someone else because of how many activities you are involved with is honestly ridiculous.
Don't let these people convince you that you can't be successful if you don't feel like you want to give up at the end of every day. You shouldn't.
Make a to-do list. Prioritize your homework. I like to get big assignments out of the way first, so it makes doing little assignments feel like much less work. Take fewer credits if you need to, go to a tutor, go to your professor's office hours! I understand how difficult it is sometimes to muster up the courage to go out of your comfort zone, but at some point, you have to learn to grab your pants and pull like hell! I promise it will be okay for you, too.
Students fall on both ends of this spectrum, or in between somewhere. I won't even act like I have it all figured out for myself. Balancing your work and your play in college is difficult sometimes, no matter how much you think you know it all. Every semester throws new curveballs at you, and no two semesters are alike.
You don't have to overdo it. Figure out what works best for you, regardless of what you think you have to do. I promise that by focusing on yourself and your needs, you'll be a lot happier and a lot healthier.