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5 tips to help balance social life and studies

Published by Afterschool.my on Jun 26, 2015, 03:51 pm

Many students step into a tertiary institution with sincere intent to perform well academically.

getting ready for school

However, in a place where you are suddenly given the free rein to determine what subjects to take, how you spend the hours between classes and how many extracurricular activities to get involved in , keeping a balance between your academic and social lives is no small challenge.

Here are some tips for a balanced university life:

1. Set realistic goals

setting goals

It is important for you to have goals. However, these goals should be achievable so that you do not burn yourself out in the process of reaching them or become disappointed when you fall short.

At the same time, do not set goals that are so low that they are no longer a challenging or become boring.

For example, putting aside only an hour a week for revision is as unrealistic as studying 12 hours every day, as neither method is likely to reap good results and maintain your well-being in the long run. Moderation is key.

2. Expect mistakes

mistakes happen

If you have only been in university for a month but expect to receive brilliant feedback for every tutorial work you submit, offer insightful answers to every question posed by the lecturer and be the best player on the basketball team, you are being too hard on yourself.

Even if you are realistic in setting your goals, there will be times when you fail to reach them, and that is okay. Failing a test in the first half of your semester means you can identify your area of weakness, work on it and do better in your final examination.

Tertiary education is not about executing perfection. University is a learning ground. Making mistakes – and learning from them – is a major part of learning, so allow yourself room to make mistakes.

3. Prioritise

how to prioritize

Everyone would love to get good grades and have an enviable social life, but more often than not, it is impossible to find adequate time and energy to do everything we desire to.

To be sure that you accomplish the important duties each day, prepare a list of things that need to be done for the day, with the most urgent tasks written at the top of the list. Try to complete the most important tasks first before moving on to the ones nearer to the bottom of the list.

When important tasks have not been checked off the list, it is only wise to say no to the less urgent activities. Attending a party in the middle of an academic week is not an urgent matter, nor is watching the final episode of the latest season of The Walking Dead.

If you find yourself constantly rushing from one place to another, it may mean that you have committed yourself to too many things. To cope, you may have to remove certain activities from your life altogether.

4. Treat studies as your work

girl studying

After years of being in secondary school where classes take place consecutively within fixed hours, the flexibility of a university schedule may prove overwhelming for new students.

One way to be a disciplined student is to strictly set aside weekdays as your workdays. This means that if you have a few hours between classes, you should spend it catching up on some academic reading instead of catching a movie at a nearby mall with friends.

Even if you have no classes on a weekday, it is advisable not to sleep in. Instead, use the time available to get some work done, such as finding answers to tutorial questions or getting together with your team members to have a brainstorming session for the group project assigned to you last week.

5. Consistency counts

aristotle quote

If you make it a habit to continually work on your assignments, tutorials and essays throughout the work week, you will realise that an amazing amount of work can be completed before Friday evening comes around. This means your weekend will be freed up for quality family time, fun activities with friends and other leisurely pursuits.

Even doing a little work every day will snowball into a favourable outcome. Taking fifteen minutes each day to review the day’s lecture notes may not take up a lot of effort, but all this invested time will be worthwhile when your lecturer decides to surprise you with a pop quiz in the middle of the semester.

When you are consistent in doing your college work throughout the semester, you will find that balancing academics and social life is not that difficult a task after all.

It's all about balance, so remember:

study hard party harder

Good luck!

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