One of the most tasking parts of college for many students is finding the appropriate balance between schoolwork and social life. With so many clubs and organizations to join as well as other students to spend time with, it can be difficult for many people to find time for academics.
For some students, it is as easy as making friends in their classes so that studying becomes a major piece of their social life, but for others, it involves supreme time-management skills. Lindsey Rolling, a first-year and member of the Honors Program, said, “I schedule time for myself and stick to it. I will say I’m going to do my homework until 9 o’clock and then hang out. It keeps me on track, especially when there is a lot of stuff going on in my hallway.”
Prioritizing is key when there are so many things to be a part of and assignments to be completed before deadlines. This is why calendars and daily planners are so useful. Writing down the work that needs to get done (and maybe scheduling in two or three hours to kick back and hang out with friends) will keep you on track with everything that comes with the busy college lifestyle.
Often times it is also important to step back and examine why it is you chose to come to college: a purely academic experience or a rich social life? “This year, I have really stepped back and decided to make more time for my work. If I don’t have as much time to socialize, it just means the time I do have is even more valuable,” said Grace Lonergan, a junior. “My freshman and sophomore year, I put aside my academic load in order to socialize, which didn’t work as well as I wanted it to. Now, if I am eating breakfast at the same time as my roommates, I feel lucky to be able to spend that time with them.”
It can, however, be helpful to complete work ahead of time. Doing an extra chapter of reading, starting a paper the day it’s assigned, or skipping a nap for a few more hours in the library will leave more time for catching up with friends. Maggie Cahoon, a sophomore and a member of the Women’s Field Hockey team, reminds herself to get things done on her free days. “We typically have games on Wednesdays and Saturdays so I don’t have a lot of time to get work done on those days. I know I have to plan everything around that ahead of time. I really try to prioritize my Sundays as a day dedicated to getting work done for the week,” Cahoon said.
It is entirely possible to succeed in all areas of life in college, but time management and a strong sense of priority are crucial to doing this. The experience should be a balanced and enjoyable one. “When you aren’t in class or doing homework, surround yourself with people that make you happy,” Cahoon added. “It will motivate you to be just as productive in everything you do.”
Meeghan Somerset can be contacted at