Hello and welcome to the fourth issue of this advice column! I’m Georgie Gentile and I am a sophomore at Keene State College majoring in film production and English writing, as well as minoring in German. If you have a question that you want me to answer, you can email it to ggentile@kscequinox.com.

This week I will keep answering questions related to some common struggles of college life.

Question: How do I balance my social and academic life?

Answer: I wish there was a definitive answer to this. It’s hard to stay on track with schoolwork while being able to hang out with friends. An easy way to combine the two is to have a study night where everyone does homework together. It’s fun, but it can be tough to stay focused (I know this from personal experience). If you have plans to hang out with people, try to get all of your work done before. Even if you need to push back everything by an hour, it will save you stress after the fact. I like to meet up with my friends at the Dining Commons during meals, so we can socialize without worrying about getting behind on anything.

Question: What are some ways I can practice self-care while at school?

Answer: One of the most obvious things you can do is sleep. As someone who rarely has a good night’s rest, I know the struggle of this seemingly easy task. The healthy amount of sleep people should get is between six and eight hours. Usually, I get around seven, but feel like I get none. Going to bed an hour earlier than usual or even taking the occasional nap can help you feel more rested and ready for the inevitable chaos of school. Also, try to eat consistent and balanced meals. The Dining Commons has a good variety of foods to choose from and if you need a quick snack Lloyd’s Marketplace is a way to get some food in your system. The best advice I can give is to set realistic goals for yourself. College is pretty crazy and with a handful of classes to juggle it is hard to feel like you have control over anything. I have a habit of expecting that I should be receiving perfect grades for all of my homework and projects, but that is utter nonsense. People do better at some classes than others. Sometimes you can’t put 100 percent into your homework. Stress is normal. Give yourself time to rest and take a break on your work. You deserve it.

Question: How do I prepare for winter?

Answer: If you feel unprepared for cold weather and snow, you should get ready in the next week or two because snow may be coming sooner than you think. The most obvious things I can recommend you getting are a winter jacket and boots. They do not have to be anything fancy. Thrift stores in and around Keene should be stocked with winter gear right now. Also try to get a warm hat, gloves and socks. Dorms can also get chilly so you should have blankets and warm clothes to cozy up in as well. I also recommend getting some cans of soup, ramen and popcorn for your dorm. If it is snowing, you probably won’t want to go to the Dining Commons to get dinner so having some backup food is always helpful. Try to get some things to busy yourself while you stay inside, too. Puzzles, adult coloring books, knitting or crocheting; do whatever you can to stop yourself from napping all day.

I hope you enjoyed my advice!

Gerogie Gentile can be contacted at

ggentile@kscequinox.com