Juggling Education and Recreation
A large part of college is developing friendships, and having numerous chances to immerse yourself in many new fun and exciting activities. Developing lifelong friends and acquaintances, and having fun is an important aspect to the collegiate experience. But the social side of college has to balance with the academic side.
Everyone enjoys getting to go out and not worrying about work that needs to be done. You will pay the price with bad grades if you ignore your studies. However if you’ve treated your academic work as if it were your job – studying during downtime, finishing homework when it’s assigned, and being efficient about how you study, you should be able to enjoy the social side of college. One good suggestion is to treat your school week as a work week. When Friday rolls around and you are done with your final class, just relax and enjoy yourself until sometime on Sunday. Then start preparing for the next week. If you don’t relax, you will become burnt out, leading to no desire to do anything.
Don’t be afraid to tell your friends no when you have work to do. One of the most precious assets that students have is their time. While developing new friends, you will encounter many different personalities. For the most part, everyone will understand and accept: “No, I’m too busy tonight. I have a test I need to study for tomorrow.” However, there will be those who cannot accept no for an answer. These are not the best of friends to surround yourself with. It shows a complete lack of respect for you on their part, if they are unable to accept the importance of your education.
If you absolutely crave social interaction, and are having troubles buckling down and paying attention, utilize one of your class friends as a study buddy. Find a friend who is a serious student. Go to dinner together, and quiz each other while you wait for a meal.
Taking breaks helps keep your mind clear as well. Try studying for an hour, and then take a fifteen minute break – or tweak the time allocation towards what works best for you. Remember, though, that discipline is always one of the most important deciding factors in maintaining good grades and friendships. Don’t study for fifteen minutes and then take an hour break. Your breaks should be shorter than the studying sessions.
As mentioned, discipline is always a key to success. There will be many times that you don’t want to do something for school (this will carry over to life experiences as well) but you must discipline yourself to carry out the tasks anyway. There will also be many times that you want to do something but have to have the discipline to say no.
Remember, college is a pool of exciting experiences. Just don’t allow yourself to drown in them until you’ve learned to swim..