Two weeks into the semester and already the struggle of balancing school, homework, a job and a sliver of a social life comes washing back.
I found myself sitting in an empty College Library staring out into the dark Lake Mendota around 1 a.m. finishing a paper due only one week after class started. As I start my junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I feel a sense of dread knowing this will be my hardest year yet. Lucky for me, my last two years of college provided me with some tips and tricks on striking a balance between school, work and a social life.
1. Organize. Organize. Organize!
Each person has their own preferred method of organization when it comes to school, homework and life as a whole. I prefer a mix of using a paper planner, my iCal and Canvas calendars. To-do lists help me keep everything organized from my school life to my personal life. Organization is known to reduce stress, promote productivity and increase restful sleep — all important aspects to having a successful semester.
2. Talk to people around you.
Relying on friends and family — even from afar — can help reduce imminent stress around balancing school, work, clubs and social activities. Talking to a friend or roommate can offer relief in knowing you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. There are plenty of University Health Services resources on campus also available to students who may feel overwhelmed or stressed by everything on their plate.
3. Step back and enjoy your time on campus.
UW-Madison is one of the top college towns in the United States for a reason. A plethora of city wide activities are available to involve students outside of the classroom. Stepping back and making time for activities that will take you out of the classroom and into the beautiful city of Madison is one of the best stress relievers. Go cheer on Badgers athletics, enjoy a night on the Memorial Terrace or just go for a stroll up State Street toward the Wisconsin State Capitol.
All of these things can help you manage a better balance between work and play. The most important thing to keep in mind is that this balance is crucial. You need to enjoy all parts of the college experience. So work hard, but also go out and have a blast. That’s what college is all about.