How to: do it all in college
As a majority of my readers are college students or will be soon, I wanted to give some of my tips on how to balance life and school. School is difficult for anyone. Between tests, homework, and classes, it can be extremely overwhelming. Adding a job to the mix? Terrifying. I felt like I am qualified to write this because starting as a freshman in college, I have had a full-time job along with taking a full semester in college (5 classes). Admittedly, there would be days I would sit and cry about all the things I had to do any about how stressed I was. But that wasn’t everyday…that was far and few between. Anyways, here are some of the things I did to accomplish everything on my plate.
You can do more then you think. I promise you that you can do more then you think you are capable of. Think of all the things you do out of necessity. You need to think of college and work like that. I had to work to pay my bills and I need to do well in school because I was paying a trillion dollars to go there (you get what I mean). Looking back, I am actually so proud of myself for finding a way to do it all. At the time I didn’t see myself as being a slave to my school or to my work, I just did what I needed to do and that was that. Did I enjoy working 40 hours a week while attending 5 classes? Of course not. But it was what I needed to do to have the life I wanted.
Create the habit. We are all a compilation of our habits. You need to create the habit of going to work, coming home, doing homework, and so on. A lot of studies I have read say it takes 30 days to create a new habit. So just hang in there for the first 30 days and then It will become normal to you and it won’t be as much of a struggle. My routine would be to go to class, then go to work, then come home and do as much homework as I could before going to bed. You could even decide to not do any homework on the days you worked if you can get it all done on your days off. Whatever you decide, you need to find a routine that works for you that also allows you to get everything done.
Prioritize. This may seem like a “duh” but it still needs to be said. If you are on a time crunch, which you are, you need to focus on what really matters. When school and work are your life, you need to treat it as such. This tip doesn’t really do much for your social life but if you really want to accomplish your goals, you need to be focused on the bigger picture. What’s more important: going out for a drink with a friend? Or acing that final? I will let you answer that.
Remember that it’s only temporary. Last but not least, remember that it is only temporary. I can not tell you how many times I was on the phone with my dad complaining about everything that I had to do. I always ended those phone calls in saying “but I know it’s only temporary.” For some reason, that helped me push through and see the larger goal I had in my head. If you want to get the most out of college, you need to put in the time. There is no way around that. Just remember why you are in school and use that to motivate you to push through those 4 (or more) years.