Balancing Act: 3 Essential Tips for Busy Students

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Carina Truong
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With rising tuition costs each year, students choose to supplement their academic journeys with part-time jobs and paid internships. Some students attend school full-time while also working full-time. In a recent study published by Georgetown University, 70% of today’s students work while earning their undergraduate or graduate degree. Many working students also have responsibilities within their families. As a working student, I myself have had to juggle the demands of a part-time job while attending school full-time. Here are my top 3 essential tips to help busy students balance between work, life, and school.

Essential Tip 1: Wake Up Early

Last semester I had a 23-unit class schedule. Waking up early in the morning was the number one key in helping me keep up with work and a demanding class schedule. Each morning I had time for moments of mindfulness. Afterwards I would plan important reminders, goals, and deadlines for the day in my journal. These extra hours also saved me many times by providing just enough time to review for an upcoming quiz or catch up on an assignments. This is a piece of advice that is timeless and beneficial for anyone, and something which is consistently practiced by top-performing business executives and professionals worldwide.

Essential Tip 2: Plan, Plan, Plan

I firmly believe that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Every night before I head to bed I take time to plan. I jot down a list of bullet points on a Post-It Note or in a journal to remind myself of to-dos and deadlines. I also like to organize my schedule by budgeting each day of the week with allotted hours or designated slots of time to complete certain activities. Using Post-It Notes is very practical since they are affordable and extremely handy. You can stick Post-It Notes in your math notebook, on your car dashboard or even tuck them inside your smartphone-case for an “on-the-go” to-do-list. Using this organizational system my entire semester allowed to maintain a killer GPA.  At the end of the semester my school’s Vice President of Instruction notified me that I had been granted an Academic Honors List Award!

Essential Tip 3: Eat Healthy

A healthy breakfast provides you with nutrients, antioxidants and energy that will fuel your mind and body to be productive. Instead of heating up that leftover pizza-slice, pop some frozen berries and half a banana into a blender and make a smoothie that is both tasty and brain-boosting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt lethargic, sluggish and sleepy after eating some greasy, high-sodium junk food. Keeping a healthy diet by consistently eating vegetables, fruits and grains will help you focus better and achieve more.

I hope you enjoyed this dose of inspiration! If you start to follow these tips, you will see positive changes in your life, work, and studies! Waking up early, keeping organized plans, and eating healthy are three essential tips to help college students balance a hectic schedule and achieve success.


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