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Balancing Life and Work in College

Being a college student has its fair share of difficulties. Not only are there exams, papers, countless books and discussion boards, but a lot of full-time college students also work part-time outside of classes. As a student who also works, I can confirm it's tiring. Because of my experiences, I wanted to share some tips for balancing all of life’s stresses as a college student. While I know everyone has different circumstances, these are just some useful tips that help me through it all!

1. Wake up at a decent time

As much as I hate waking up early (and I really hate waking up early), it is so important for a productive day. Everyone has different definitions of early, but my general rule of thumb is to wake up at least two or three hours before you have to leave for work or school. This time allows you to fully wake up, take your time getting ready and even allows you to finish up a few chores or assignments before leaving the house. The most important part of waking up early is going to bed at a decent time so try to implement that as well.

2. Plan your meals ahead of time

This one is one of my most lived-by rules. There is absolutely nothing I hate more than getting off work late at night and having to cook dinner. Frankly, if I don’t have something planned and prepped before I get home, I will end up eating a bowl of cereal as my main meal of the day. Always having some sort of protein ready to enjoy along with some vegetables, fresh or frozen, will make your life a lot easier after a long shift.

3. Set aside time for schoolwork

As someone who lives off campus, when I'm on campus I try to make the most of my time. One of the ways I do that is by spending most of the day in between classes in the library where I have limited distractions. Every week I have about six hours on campus that I dedicate solely to completing my assignments for the week or at least getting a head start on them.

  4. Pay as many bills as you can with your first paycheck of the month

If there is one thing I have learned after living alone for the past three years, it’s that there is nothing I dread more than paying bills. Not only is it just a bummer in general, but it’s stressful making sure you’ll have enough money for everything throughout the month. The best way to combat this is by paying as much as you can with your first check of the month. By doing this, you get most, if not all, of your bills paid early and when you get your last check of the month there is a lot of stress relief with it! While I recommend putting as much back into savings as you can, you can absolutely do whatever you please with your leftover money and you’ll have peace of mind knowing it’s not all going to bills.

5. Always have time set for yourself!

The most important tip of all is to have some time set for yourself where you can do whatever you want! Whether that’s watching a movie, doing your nails, going to the gym, reading a book etc. It is always important to make sure you aren’t overloading or burning yourself out because that will do more harm than good. Make time with your friends, go to football games or take a break! Prioritize your happiness! I know everyone has different lives and different circumstances, but I hope you can take these tips and use them to help balance your busy lives. I know it’s hard, but you’ve got this!


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