It’s the Little Things That Helped Me Find Balance in College

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There’s a thin line between work and play as a college student.

It’s balancing act you probably never really dealt with before coming to college.

I’m a junior and every semester I still struggle with managing my Type-A-personality-workaholic-perfectionist-tendencies. It took me 3 academic years of trial and error to figure out what worked for me to help find that balance.

For me, it’s the little things. Sprinkling positive, uplifting affirmations throughout my day make schoolwork more exciting and my day just a little more interesting.

I put together a list of my favorite little things that keep morale high throughout the day …

  1. Buy a planner and actually USE IT! – buying a planner is the easy part, using it is the hard part. Your teachers probably give you a syllabus the first day of class, right? At the end of the day, take 10 minutes to write what assignments and tests you have due for your classes. Trust me, knowing what you have due in your classes will reduce stress levels a lot and you’re less likely to get caught in that situation where you realize you have an assignment due … the night before its due.

If you’re looking so spice up your planner game, check out riflepaperco for some planner inspo.

Using “stickies” on your laptop is a free alternative to buying a planner!

 

2. Join a club or organization that you’ll enjoy participating in – Lucky for you, Penn State has literally over 1,000, yes, over one thousand, clubs and organizations to get involved in.

Getting involved on campus keeps you on a schedule and forces you to learn the art of time management.

Joining an organization that meets regularly helps break up your day and give you something to look forward to during studying-induced stress.

  1. Make studying a little more exciting – I’d be lying if I told you I truly loved I think one of the hardest parts it getting into your study groove. To get prepared to do some serious work, I need to find a good study spot (Abba Java and 4th floor Paterno cubbies are my favorite), then find the perfect study playlist. one word: Soundcloud
  1. Don’t forget to take time for yourself — It’s easy to get wrapped up in studying for a midterm worth 25% of your final grade or editing that research paper over and over and over…

But it’s important to give yourself and your brain a break.

Giving yourself a 15-minute study break to take a lap around the library or running a quick errand or calling a family member can be just what you need to refocus, re-energize and de-stress.

 

  1. Make yourself do one stress relieving activity a day – Days can get really jam packed and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed throughout the day.

 

But don’t worry … your busiest week will eventually end.

 Read a few pages of a book you love before bed, find a free yoga class, go on a walk and listen to your favorite song, have a pizza night with your roommates.

If it helps you de-stress and re-motivates you to take on the next day, go for it!

Time Management During College

 

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Time management is something every college student struggles with. Between classes, extra curricular activities and trying to find time to socialize with friends, we as a generation are spreading ourselves too thin. We feel this need to be involved in so many different activities at once or we miss out and most of the time we are not able to give them our all. Everyday I hear my friends talk about how they’re doing this and that and the classic “Oh that’ll look so good on your resume.” I am not denying I have not been like that, but I have found an interest to get involved with things I like rather than what I think will look best on my resume. I have experienced the trial and error moments, and through that I have discovered what works best for me. Whether it is planning my professional activities, academic career or social life, I have learned that with the help of a few time management skills I can get so much accomplished. I have discovered a few key things that help me with time management: a planner, a few minutes at the beginning of the week and a simple routine. I have found that by sitting down on Sunday night for a total of 10 minutes and just looking at what I have coming up for that week, makes my week so much easier. I am able to write down when I have assignments due, meetings and specific social events as well. It might be the type a personality in me, but it is such an easy thing to do and getting it out of the way. Time management is not hard to get the grasp of, but it does take some time. So here’s my advice – take that time, and the rest will fall into place.