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How to Balance It All in College

School alone can be mentally and physically draining; but throw in work, family, and life responsibilities, and everything seems to just need a bigger and bigger part of your undivided attention. Here are some of my tips to help create a healthy balance:

  1. Prioritize: What is Most Valuable?

When I think about finding a balance between anything, the first thing that comes to my mind is prioritizing what is most important to me.

  • What is it that I am going to spend and dedicate most of my effort towards?
  • What needs my attention the most?
  • What should I spend more/less time on?

I think asking yourself what you want to prioritize is crucial because it allows you to focus on what aspects of your life are most important at that moment. And remember, priorities change! What’s most important one week or month might not be as critical the next.

Prioritization can always be re-adjusted so that you’re able to decide what you want to focus the most on. Just writing out a simple list numbering your priorities from most to least is a step in the right direction.

  1. Organize: Plan Ahead

The organization is a great way to implement your priorities. I personally utilize a weekly planner and my phone calendar to keep my priorities in check. Having a setlist of priorities and tasks that need to get done is a great tool to use.  Once you have your priorities listed, this is where you can allot the amount of time or days you want to give yourself for the different aspects of your life. Keep in mind that with planning you need to think of realistic expectations for yourself. If you know you are not going to spend 6 hours reading a textbook, don’t plan for it. Plan to do the right tasks that work for you. 

  1. Carve Out: Personal Time

So, you decide to spend more time with school work, which means you don’t have as much time to go out on the weekend with friends. Make sure to find time during the week to talk or text with friends and family. Planning ahead time to meet with friends and family by picking a restaurant to go to on the weekend or schedule a date/time to video chat with a family member. Carving out personal time takes a bit of effort, especially when you have a busy schedule, but if you prioritize and organize ahead of time this is a great way to make sure you keep in touch with the loved ones in your life.

  1. Execute: Get It Done!

You’ve done all of the planning and organization, now it is time to execute. Remind yourself why those priorities are at the top of your list by linking them to motivational factors like getting good grades, maintaining relationships, having a clean apartment, etc. Habits take a while to form, so changes will most likely not be happening overnight but keep yourself on track by reminding yourself to execute on all your plans.

Life can be super demanding, so make sure to try and achieve a balance between the different parts of your day. It’ll go a long way to making everything feel a little better.