7 Tactics for Students to Balance College, Work and Social Life

7 Tactics for Students to Balance College, Work and Social Life

College life is a constant juggling act. You’re studying, taking part in clubs, working, and socialising. Sometimes it can feel like you don’t even have time to breathe. There is a way to do all of these things and keep going, though. Follow these seven tips to get the most out of college without heading for burnout. This should be the best time of your life, and following this advice can help you achieve academic success as well as full and active social life.

  1. Study smarter, not harder.

    A lot of students decide that effective studying equals long hours spent in the library, poring away at the books. They’ve made the mistake of thinking that the longer you study, the more you take in. In fact, the opposite can be true. Spend long enough studying without breaks, and you aren’t going to take anything in. Go for a walk and get away from the books. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to learn.

    Psychology experts also confirm that the phenomenon of studying smarter, not harder improves the amount of knowledge you retain, and your ability to apply it. They advise the following tips for really putting this concept into practice:

    •  Once you’ve studied something, give yourself a couple of hours, a few days, or even a whole week before you re-study it. This is known as ‘spacing’ and strengthens your memory.

    •  Test yourself – on all subjects, not just scientific ones where it’s easy to use flashcards.

    These two methods on how to study harder leave you with a better memory, and a way to identify and remedy gaps in your knowledge, so should be implemented during all study periods.

  2. Ask for help when you need it

    It is college, you need to learn to manage on your own, right? True, but learning that actually means knowing when to ask for help. If you’re struggling with your work, talk to a professor. If your mental or physical health is declining, go to the health centre. Those who can ask for help can get back on track, and succeed, much more quickly. Admitting that we’re struggling during college is extremely tough. It may seem like everyone else is flourishing, when the truth is that this is a difficult transition for everyone, and you are not alone in the struggle. However, if you’re still uncomfortable in coming forward and talking about problems, there are many anonymous services such as ULifeline. Anonymous services offer you the chance to be heard, and helped, but without the feeling of vulnerability that comes from opening up to someone you know or see regularly.

  1. Manage your schedule

    It’s tempting to stuff your schedule full of exciting things, and you should experience new things while you’re at college. Remember though, there’s only 24 hours in a day. If you try to cram too many things in, you’ll burn out much more quickly. Instead, take your time. You’ve got years at college, don’t worry about fitting everything in. Your main priority at college should be your studies – it is a higher education institute after all. Give classes a couple of weeks, and then realistically assess how much free time you have and decide on your priorities, whether they’re sports, socializing, music, or any other college opportunities.

  1. Slow down if you need to

    Need a break? Take it. Step off the soccer team for a while, or put a hold on tutoring. You can’t help anyone when you’re overworked. You’ll feel much better when you come back to it. You may hear the phrase ‘burnout’ being casually thrown around campus, however don’t be fooled – this is a serious issue for many young college students. It’s a state of mental and physical exhaustion, that can have a negative affect on your grades, your relationships, and your mental health. Many articles and studies are listing burnout as one of the top ten reasons students drop out of school – so when you feel overwhelmed, overworked, and overtired, give yourself a break. Take days off from any extra-curricular that you do and allow yourself time to feel stronger again. This isn’t a weakness – recognizing that you need to help yourself is a strength.

  1. Use online tools

    There are lots of online tools that make essay writing and general college life much easier on you. Try these tools the next time you’re struggling to get writing:

    •  Australian Help: This website has a whole host of guides that make writing any essay a walk in the park. Try their grammar guides, assignment help page, or their citation guides

    •  Writemonkey: Struggle to write without getting distracted? This writing tool is a stripped down, simple tool, that lets you get on with the job at hand.

    •  Easy Word Count: You’re given word counts in your assignments for a reason, to keep you on track. This tool will give you an accurate word count when you need it.

    •  Wunderlist: This app is the best to do list app out there. You can make personal lists, or create shared ones. They’re great when planning group projects.

    •  Boomessays: Sometimes, you need someone to give your essay that final once over. This writing service can look at it with an experienced eye before you hand it in.

    •  iStudiez Pro: This organisation app will help you get yourself organised. Create schedules for work and school, and keep track of your accomplishments.

    •  RefME: This tool is a lifesaver for citing your sources. Scan the book’s barcode into your phone, and it will create an instant citation for you.

  2. Be able to say no

    There are lots of opportunities at college, and you want to say yes and please everyone. However, it’s just not possible to fit it all in. Say no once in a while, and your tired brain will thank you. Everyone needs a day curled up in front of Netflix every once in a while. While it’s easy to become giddy with excitement at the societies fair, and suddenly realize you have a dozen passions, when you really think about it, you know who you are, what you like, and what societies and activities are for you. Stay true to who you are, and remember that it’s OK to say no.

  3. Eat well

    It sounds obvious, but many students don’t eat well when they come to college. Eating junk all day every day means you’ll feel ill, and won’t be up to all the cool stuff that’s out there. Make sure to keep fruit and vegetables in your diet, and slow down on the fast food. Make sure you drink enough water during the day, too. While ramen may be the cheapest thing in the store, and not grow mould even after a couple of weeks, your brain works better with a good diet. Scientists have confirmed time and again that fish, fruits, vegetables, and even coconut oil can boost your brain. So give yourself the best odds at succeeding in college by eating as well as you can.

These tips and tools should help you get the right balance while you’re at college. Of course you want to do everything, but you need to listen to your body first. Taking it slow from time to time will help you get the most out of the college experience.


About the Author: Gloria Kopp

Gloria Kopp is a web content writer and an elearning consultant from Manville city. She graduated from University of Wyoming and started a career of a creative writer, now she works as a blog editor at Essayroo. She is also is a regular contributor to such websites as StudydemicBigassignments, HuffingtonPost, Engadget, etc.

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During adolescence, our teens are more likely to pay attention to the positives of a situation over the negatives. This can be a great thing. The courage that comes from this will help them try new things, explore their independence, and learn the things they need to learn to be happy, healthy adults. But it can also land them in bucketloads of trouble. 

Here’s the thing. Our teens don’t want to do the wrong thing and they don’t want to go behind our backs, but they also don’t want to be controlled by us, or have any sense that we might be stifling their way towards independence. The cold truth of it all is that if they want something badly enough, and if they feel as though we are intruding or that we are making arbitrary decisions just because we can, or that we don’t get how important something is to them, they have the will, the smarts and the means to do it with or without or approval. 

So what do we do? Of course we don’t want to say ‘yes’ to everything, so our job becomes one of influence over control. To keep them as safe as we can, rather than saying ‘no’ (which they might ignore anyway) we want to engage their prefrontal cortex (thinking brain) so they can be more considered in their decision making. 

Our teens are very capable of making good decisions, but because the rational, logical, thinking prefrontal cortex won’t be fully online until their 20s (closer to 30 in boys), we need to wake it up and bring it to the decision party whenever we can. 

Do this by first softening the landing:
‘I can see how important this is for you. You really want to be with your friends. I absolutely get that.’
Then, gently bring that thinking brain to the table:
‘It sounds as though there’s so much to love in this for you. I don’t want to get in your way but I need to know you’ve thought about the risks and planned for them. What are some things that could go wrong?’
Then, we really make the prefrontal cortex kick up a gear by engaging its problem solving capacities:
‘What’s the plan if that happens.’
Remember, during adolescence we switch from managers to consultants. Assume a leadership presence, but in a way that is warm, loving, and collaborative.♥️
Big feelings and big behaviour are a call for us to come closer. They won’t always feel like that, but they are. Not ‘closer’ in an intrusive ‘I need you to stop this’ way, but closer in a ‘I’ve got you, I can handle all of you’ kind of way - no judgement, no need for you to be different - I’m just going to make space for this feeling to find its way through. 

Our kids and teens are no different to us. When we have feelings that fill us to overloaded, the last thing we need is someone telling us that it’s not the way to behave, or to calm down, or that we’re unbearable when we’re like this. Nup. What we need, and what they need, is a safe place to find our out breath, to let the energy connected to that feeling move through us and out of us so we can rest. 
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But how? First, don’t take big feelings personally. They aren’t a reflection on you, your parenting, or your child. Big feelings have wisdom contained in them about what’s needed more, or less, or what feels intolerable right now. Sometimes it might be as basic as a sleep or food. Maybe more power, influence, independence, or connection with you. Maybe there’s too much stress and it’s hitting their ceiling and ricocheting off their edges. Like all wisdom, it doesn’t always find a gentle way through. That’s okay, that will come. Our kids can’t learn to manage big feelings, or respect the wisdom embodied in those big feelings if they don’t have experience with big feelings. 
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We also need to make sure we are responding to them in the moment, not a fear or an inherited ‘should’ of our own. These are the messages we swallowed whole at some point - ‘happy kids should never get sad or angry’, ‘kids should always behave,’ ‘I should be able to protect my kids from feeling bad,’ ‘big feelings are bad feelings’, ‘bad behaviour means bad kids, which means bad parents.’ All these shoulds are feisty show ponies that assume more ‘rightness’ than they deserve. They are usually historic, and when we really examine them, they’re also irrelevant.
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Finally, try not to let the symptoms of big feelings disrupt the connection. Then, when calm comes, we will have the influence we need for the conversations that matter.
"Be patient. We don’t know what we want to do or who we want to be. That feels really bad sometimes. Just keep reminding us that it’s okay that we don’t have it all figured out yet, and maybe remind yourself sometimes too."
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 #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #positiveparenting #parenting #neuronurtured #braindevelopment #adolescence  #neurodevelopment #parentingteens
Would you be more likely to take advice from someone who listened to you first, or someone who insisted they knew best and worked hard to convince you? Our teens are just like us. If we want them to consider our advice and be open to our influence, making sure they feel heard is so important. Being right doesn't count for much at all if we aren't being heard.
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Hear what they think, what they want, why they think they're right, and why it’s important to them. Sometimes we'll want to change our mind, and sometimes we'll want to stand firm. When they feel fully heard, it’s more likely that they’ll be able to trust that our decisions or advice are given fully informed and with all of their needs considered. And we all need that.
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 #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #neuronurtured #childdevelopment #adolescence 
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"We’re pretty sure that when you say no to something it’s because you don’t understand why it’s so important to us. Of course you’ll need to say 'no' sometimes, and if you do, let us know that you understand the importance of whatever it is we’re asking for. It will make your ‘no’ much easier to accept. We need to know that you get it. Listen to what we have to say and ask questions to understand, not to prove us wrong. We’re not trying to control you or manipulate you. Some things might not seem important to you but if we’re asking, they’re really important to us.❤️" 
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#neurodevelopment #neuronurtured #childdevelopment #parenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparenting

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