How to Juggle Studying and Student Life in College: Advice from a Recent Grad

It may seem overwhelming at first, but balancing college school work and socializing will keep you both successful and happy as a student. Here are some tips for juggling your many activities.
Laura Kyle's avatar by Laura Kyle, Hobsons Marketing Intern. Laura is a recent graduate from St. Olaf College with a degree in English. She is originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Your first week of freshman orientation has passed. You met tons of new friends and are starting to feel at home with the people surrounding you. Registration for first semester classes comes around and it hits you, you are going to have to balance doing well in college classes with all the clubs you signed up for, intramural sports teams you’re now on, and socializing on top of it! It may seem overwhelming at first, but with time you’ll find a delicate balance between everything. This will keep you both successful and happy as a student. Here are some tips for juggling your many activities. If I can do it, you can too!

DO participate in clubs and extra-curricular activities

This is a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle. If there is an opportunity of interest, try to make it work in your schedule!

Tip: At some point during the first week on campus, most colleges hold a co-curricular/club fair. Attend this event for a chance to see all the different groups active on campus.

 

DON’T leave academics on the backburner

While it is important to make time to socialize with friends, your academics should come first. Try to stay on top of your work right at the onset of the semester. This will set you up for success as you navigate how much time you need to dedicate to your studies in the years to come.

Tip: Meal times are a great chance for a study break and to visit with friends. My friends would often plan weekly meals and it was always something I looked forward to as a de-stressor.

 

DON’T take on too much

You’re only one person. While it may have seem like an exciting prospect to be involved in seven different clubs, two intramural sports, orchestra, AND student government, it may not be a practical lifestyle to maintain. Know that there are limits to all that you can handle at one time.

Tip: Don’t feel guilty about dropping one club or extracurricular if you begin to feel overwhelmed with your commitments.

 

DO form study groups

As your first big college tests approach, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to start studying. Reach out to fellow classmates to see if they want to form a study group! This is the best way to get your studying goals accomplished while also becoming better acquainted with students (not to mention it’s much more fun than studying solo).

Tip: Some professors also lead group study sessions, stay updated and attend these sessions as you are able. These study groups were a lifesaver for me during college! If you learn best when you are able to talk things through with others, this is a great way to study.

 

DO attend on-campus events

Many colleges and universities have monthly speakers or performances that they bring to campus. Take advantage of these interesting and engaging events. I didn’t start going to these events until later on in college, and I definitely missed out.

Tip: These events are usually free, so invite friends from your dorm to join you!

 

DO try to connect with your advisors and professors

With all the hustle and bustle between classes, it’s sometimes difficult to make time to connect with your professors or advisors. Those people are there as resources and are often more than willing to meet with students for academic reasons or simply to chat. Make an effort to get to know them on a personal basis. Speaking from experience, they appreciate knowing that you care enough about the class to make time to visit them.

Tip: Many professors have office hours when they are not giving lessons or lectures. If you have time, drop by and introduce yourself. If you need help with an assignment, this is a great chance to get one-on-one help.

 

At the end of the day, you know yourself best. If you are the kind of person who thrives off of being busy, go for it! If not, take commitments slowly and think carefully about whether or not you can handle it all. At college you’ll find that there is no one around to tell you what to do, you are in charge! Have fun. Be focused. Stay balanced. You can do it!

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