The Importance of Finding Time for You: Balancing Academics and Personal Life

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Lauren O'Brien
A student’s desk with a closed laptop, planner, and external monitor surrounded by various items such as a water bottle and hair clip.

As a college student, I have found that it can be challenging to find a balance between my academic and personal life. Now as a student in my final year in college, I have learned the importance of prioritizing both aspects of my life. The following three tips have helped me be successful in the classroom while also making time for important people and hobbies in my life.

Knowing when I am most productive

Something that has helped me academically is recognizing what time of the day I am most productive. For me, I am most productive in the morning. To work on this strength, I wake up earlier to start getting work done. This allows me to get most of my work done and then have more time in the day for myself.

Scheduling time with friends but also alone time

Spending time with important people in my life is something that keeps me motivated when it comes to academics. I enjoy going to get coffee with friends, studying together, and going out for dinner. I’ve also realized that I sometimes need to have time to myself. Some activities I enjoy doing by myself include going on walks and reading. Giving myself this alone time helps me to feel more present when I am with my friends and family.

Making a prioritized list

Having a planner and staying organized is something that has helped me throughout my four years in school. On Sundays, I fill out my planner according to my class schedule and personal activities. I also have found it helpful to make a to-do list and prioritize the list in order of importance. For example, an assignment with a due date quickly approaching will be at the top of my list. I then continue to add to the list the tasks that must get done.

It is important to recognize that these tips may not be effective for everyone. Find out what works best for you and your lifestyle. Sometimes school can feel overwhelming, and it feels like there is so much to get done. Finding what helps you balance your academics and personal life can help ease those feelings. Next time you have those feelings, I hope you can try one of these tips or find something that works for you.

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