Each day we are given 24 hours; each week we are given 7 days; and this continuous system gives us a finite amount of time. In this amount of time, we are given an abundant amount of opportunities to occupy each day with what we choose to do along with what we are required to do: school, work, leisure, and hobbies. It is up to us to find our right balance.

We all know we have our obligations to uphold. For college students like myself, this next higher level of education we are submerged into makes us hit the ground running to maintain our new and hefty course loads. With the classes that are shorter and the studying required being longer, this already puts a toll on the 7 days that occupy our week.

Along with classes, the necessity to maintain a healthy and vibrant social life can occupy the mind of any incoming freshmen or any undergraduate student each year wanting to find their niche friend group or club. Because of this, we usually immerse ourselves in activities around campus; we go out on weekends and even the occasional weekday with new acquaintances to stay out late enjoying the independence of college; and we join a multitude of varying clubs from volunteer groups to choir to business management clubs to publication groups to be actively involved.

In addition to the course load and activities students try to pack into their schedule, many students want to find part-time jobs to earn extra cash to have the ability to go out and many students also have work study to help pay for college expenses.

With the busyness of this common schedule many college students have, there still comes a point where we need a break, leisure time, to focus on our mental health and simply relax.

These past couple weeks here at college, I am starting to see and realize the importance of maintaining a balance in all of these aspects. The desire to maintain A’s in all of your classes with studying while working a job to earn your own money, being involved in a number of clubs, meeting up with your friends and classmates in the free time you have left, and figuring out the small space in your schedule to just sit and take a breather is a mouth full and also a feat very few can fully accomplish gracefully. It causes stress and anxiety and will hinder yourself from really enjoying your experience at college. My advice: don’t do this to yourself.

The importance of school work and studying in college is a priority and that shouldn’t be put to the side; learning higher education and earning our degrees it is ultimately why we went to college. But with that being said, we shouldn’t keep our nose buried in books. Meeting new people, making connections, and forming relationships is an important aspect of college as well; for the next four years, you spend classes and free time with the students around you and it is you should make memories with them and enjoy the “best four years of your life”. From doing that, being involved with clubs and having a job allows you to meet new people and make more memories during your college years, but it should be scheduled so your academics are not hindered by the extracurricular activities and jobs you get involved in and vice versa. Lastly and one of the most vital aspects of maintaining a balance is to take time for yourself; being officially on our own and away from the comforts of home, we can get caught up in everything we are doing and trying out and not remember to check in on ourselves. Everyone needs a break; it’s not bad to have a night where you sit and watch Netflix. To keep yourself energized and fully involved with everything you are doing, it is important to have time to recuperate and be mindful of what you need.

These next four years for myself, my friends, and all the other students at colleges and universities will be stressful and time consuming but fun and memorable. To enjoy and appreciate each aspect college has to offer, balancing your time in all of the things you need to and want to do is crucial in making the most of your college experience and enjoying it.