5 Tips to Help College Students Balance School, Work, and Social Life

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Anna Garner
Three images – left image is an alarm clock and calendar, center image is an open book, right image is a water bottle, cell phone, hand weights, and a jump rope.

Working while going to school can be overwhelming, especially when trying to maintain a social life. I am currently in my senior year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and senior level classes are no joke. While school is my top priority, I also work three different jobs. My first job being a marketing intern for a local company, my second one being a Pearson Campus Ambassador, and my last one being a Prime Student Digital Brand Ambassador. It is safe to say that I am busy, but thanks to the tips I am about to teach you I can balance it all and still have time to myself or to spend with others.

Stay Organized

If you do not have a calendar, then you need to get one. Always write down your class schedule and when assignments are due. Next, write down your work schedule and any work meetings. Lastly write down any important dates such as birthdays, events, trips, etc. A calendar is a reminder of everything you need to do so you do not forget anything. Another way to stay organized is to create a to-do list every Monday with your assignments, meeting, or events going on that week. You can start by listing Monday and the things you need to do for that day and then move to Tuesday, Wednesday. etc. Once you have completed an assignment, meeting, or event you can cross it off. Crossing things off always brings me satisfaction.

Rise and Shine

Creating a morning routine will help you know what to expect for each day and help you start your day off right. Your mornings play a critical part of your day. My morning routine goes like this: I wake up, make my bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, eat breakfast, read my devotional, and go to the gym. By completing each of these things, I am setting myself up for success because they are each a small win. Morning routines can look different for each individual, but that’s the glory of it because they can be customized to you and your needs.

Regulate Your Circadian Rhythm

I have not always been a morning person but waking up early has helped my mental health a lot. I started waking up between 6am – 7am each morning to create time for myself. Now I have time to work out with a friend in the morning that I would not have if I were to wake up at 9 am like I used to. It is also important to go to bed at a reasonable time; for me that means 9:30 pm or 10 pm. You need to give your body time to reset and rest. If you do not take care of your body then you will not be able to function at your fullest, and when you are a busy person, you need your body to function.

Limit Screentime

We spend so much time on our phones out of habit. We scroll on social media and lose track of time from watching videos. I am not saying don’t ever go on social media, I am saying to be intentional when you do. Set an amount of screen time per each day that will satisfy your need for social media without taking too much of your time. To help with this I recommend avoiding your phone until you are done with your morning routine. By doing this you are less likely to get distracted. I also think it is best not to get on your phone before you go to bed. Scrolling just before you go to sleep can affect your sleep schedule and cause you to stay up later than you had planned to.

Create a Nighttime Routine

A nighttime routine is just as important as a morning routine. You need to give yourself time to decompress before bed. My nighttime routine consists of washing my face, brushing my teeth, and reading my book. Since creating this routine, I have been able to read books that I never had the time to read before. It also helps me go to bed at a reasonable time and stay off my phone.

No matter how busy you are, it is all about perspective when it comes to your time. Everyone has the same 24 hours each day; we just spend them differently. If you’re more intentional with your time, then you can get a lot done. Set yourself up for success via to-do lists, morning and nighttime routines, getting ample sleep, and managing your phone usage. I hope these tips help you manage your school, work, and social life better and help you be less overwhelmed.

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