A lot of students get to live on their own for the first time during college. Although it is exciting, it can also be challenging. They have to navigate studies, part-time jobs, social responsibilities, and other things. It is important to find the right balance between education and life, and in this guide, you’ll learn about the ways to achieve that.
Learn Proper Scheduling
The secret to successful time management is scheduling, prioritization, and deadlines. Students that cannot find balance might deal with a lot of stress, anxiety, or even academic burnout. This poses a danger to both mental and physical health.
Scheduling is step number one. It is better to use digital scheduling tools like Google Calendar or various apps as they are easy to adjust and manage. They also have a notification feature to make sure you do not miss anything.
Schedule regular and recurring tasks like lectures, classes, chores, and rest. As soon as you get assignments or projects, put them into the calendar with a deadline and notification when you should start on them. Surely, if you miss the mark, you can always ask the professional write my papers online service to help. Academic writing platforms can nail any type of college paper in almost no time as they have experienced authors on the team.
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Scheduling might not sound very exciting, but it is a foundation for getting things done by a deadline.
Another integral part of time management is prioritization. Students can create their own system with abbreviations or color-coding to mark tasks as a top priority or low priority. The most popular one separates all the things into four categories:
- Urgent and important;
- Urgent but not important;
- Important but not urgent;
- Not important nor urgent.
Based on that, you can create to-do lists for a day or a week. Try to draft the approximate time the task will take to finish. It is better to always start with the hardest one when you are still fresh and full of energy.
Also, when you cross out the hardest task from the list, you get a dopamine boost, and it is much easier to successfully finish all the other ones.
This might be particularly complicated for the first years as they want to do everything. There is so much going on in college, from guest lectures to group projects and social gatherings. However, there is only so much you can do in a day.
Be realistic with what you can devote to things and learn to say “no” to ones you cannot perform. If it is not meaningful or important, do not waste your resources on it.
But do not skip the rest. Otherwise, you might experience academic burnout, which is a serious condition that can lead to mental and physical health consequences.
Take Care of Yourself
Students tend to disregard a lot of advice on a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. Surely, if you pull an all-nighter once, it is not going to be a huge problem. Skipping a meal once a week to do something else might also go unnoticed.
But if you do it regularly, this creates a pattern of unhealthy habits. All of those compromise your health and cognitive performance. Numerous studies show that academic success is linked to well-balanced nutrition, physical exercise, and regular sleep pattern. The state of your body impacts the state of your mind. So if you do not take care of it, you won’t be able to perform your best in college.
Self-care in college includes the following:
- Proper nutrition with all vitamins and elements;
- Regular sleep (an adult needs at least 7-9 hours every night);
- Physical exercises (try the campus gym or choose a bike instead of commuting);
- Stress-relieving techniques (meditation, breathing exercises, hobbies, or yoga);
- Time with your friends, like a walk or a movie party;
- Time to do something you enjoy.
Do not forget to take regular breaks when studying for a long time. And go outside every day to get some sun and fresh air.
Optimize Your Work
Different students have different learning styles and preferences. It is not about studying for 10 hours a day but about being effective and productive.
Learn what works for you, whether it is repetition, spaced-out learning, flashcards, or the Pomodoro technique. Try out different methods of working efficiently and figure out what is the best for you. This is useful for developing study skills essential to be a successful student. Also, optimize your workflow – always have necessary resources near you, utilize commuting or waiting time to revise or read, and eliminate distractions when you need to concentrate.
Do One Thing at a Time
Multitasking never works. Studies show that the human brain is not capable of it. What it does is just quickly switch from one thing to another. As a result, you get tired quickly and lose focus easily.
Set a task with a clear goal, end time, and objective. Concentrate only on it, and do not get distracted. As soon as you are done, take 5-15 minutes of rest. If you are working on a big project, separate it into small and manageable steps and work on it one at a time.
These steps will serve as a road map of what you need to do to achieve the bigger goal. Also, it won’t feel so overwhelming and scary to start.
Balancing studies and life can be tricky in college, yet it is manageable. Students need to adopt a reasonable approach to their schedule and learn prioritization and goal-setting. It is vital to say “no” to things you do not need and do not want to do. Also, it is crucial to have time to relax, meet with friends, and enjoy something you like.