Life in college is pretty hectic. Many people struggle to balance their commitments, school, and a job (it’s hard for me too) but finding the right balance can help you have a better college experience. I had to understand what my priorities were, and how to manage my time effectively. Throughout my college experience, I’ve been involved in several on-campus organizations, had several jobs, and continued furthering my education. It hasn’t been easy for me, and I think it’s important for people to understand that one person’s reality is different when looked at from different perspectives.
It’s hard to find a balance and believe that you’re handling everything perfectly. I’ve let things slip from time to time, and it was a big transition for me from high school to college to comprehend that I couldn’t handle everything all of the time. As a person who’s a control freak about almost everything in my life, I’ve learned that sometimes there are things that aren’t worth figuring out or stressing over. I’ve come up with a few tips to help myself maintain a balanced lifestyle.
First: Make a check list with a balance of must-dos and self-care
As a busy college student, I have a lot to do in a day, so I make a to-do list. I require that for every 4 “not so fun” tasks I complete, I get to do one self-care! Those range from going to the gym, to doing a face mask, to taking a nice long nap. It’s nice because it makes me take time for myself even if I have more than enough to do otherwise.
Second: I evenly spread out my commitments throughout the week!
I take classes and work every other day, which helps me not feel overwhelmed. I also color-code my planner so I can visually see the differences between my commitments, and I can give myself more variation in my daily schedule.
Third: I allow myself to take mental health days!
Part of being a college student is having rough days. This past semester has been one of the hardest semesters for me mentally and emotionally. One day this semester, I had to remove myself from my work and school in order to help myself sane and help keep myself mentally healthy. It’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay to not be okay. No one should have it together all of the time, and you need to know how to take care of your mental, physical and emotional health.
Remember that a “balanced” lifestyle is different for everyone. My schedule might stress out someone, but to me it’s pretty perfect – and vice versa. You need to take the time to learn about your habits and needs, and then take the time to understand what your priorities are. It’s not easy right off the bat, but it gets easier with practice…trust me! I’m a professional at this point!
(Lauren VanNess is a senior, majoring in Public Relations. She is a member of the Honors College, University Ambassadors (current president), 2019 Orientation Assistant for SOAR and a member of the Greek Week Committee.)