Opinion: College extracurriculars worth the balancing act
College is extremely hectic. Fifteen credits, clubs, sports, Greek life and trying to be both healthy and social can take a toll on a college student pretty quickly.
Even as a sophomore I still struggle to balance my workload. Between five classes with a heavy reading and writing emphasis, being a division one athlete, writing for the newspaper and being in a sorority, I'm constantly overwhelmed with homework and other obligations. In addition to all of this, I try to go to the gym three to five times a week and hang out with my friends. This leaves me little time to relax. Because of my many commitments, I've had to come up with ways to maintain a healthy, sustainable balance to life.
I didn’t discover the library until my second semester of college. Now I go there almost every day and get all my homework done. It’s the easiest place for me to work because I can concentrate better than in my room.
Something I do to help me stay on top of all my homework is write it down everywhere I can; I have a planner that I write all my homework in. Using a planner makes it easy to see when something is due, and the feeling of crossing off assignments is very rewarding. I also use a whiteboard in my room to write down a to-do list for the day. I’ll write all my homework and chores on the board and try to erase everything by the end of the day. I have a second planner where I write down a schedule for my day. This includes classes, meetings or events and due dates for important assignments.
I also like to set reminders on my phone so I don’t forget things. If I have an assignment that I know I am going to put off until the last minute or a deadline that I know I will forget about, I like to set one. I won’t check it off until it’s actually done. This motivates me to finish it quicker so I can get rid of the annoying reminder on my screen.
Being able to plan the weeks and know when assignments are due means that I'm never behind on my work. I don’t have class until the afternoon every day, so in the mornings I try to go to the gym and get my homework for the day finished or homework for later in the week started. While it’s nice to have some down time to relax and watch Netflix, it’s always easier to get work out of the way so that you aren’t stressing about an essay the night before it’s due and turning in work that isn’t your best.
Being involved in an organization is a huge commitment. For my sorority, I have weekly meetings, community service requirements and other random events throughout the semester. When I get too overwhelmed with my schedule and the amount of homework I have, I like to take a break and go to the gym. It’s a great stress reliever and it’s a healthy way to take a break.
Using a planner to keep track of assignments and tests and having a separate place to write down events for the day is an incredibly easy way to make sure you never fall behind in school or in life. Setting reminders is also a helpful strategy if you know you’re a forgetful person.
There are many ways to stay on top of school and life and not every strategy will work for you. It takes some time to figure out what works and even when you do, you can still find yourself stressed out and overwhelmed with everything you have going on. The best thing to do is to just get everything done as soon as you can — stressing over work is way worse than just doing it.
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