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How can I maintain a balance between my school and course work along while still having time for my intramural sports, friends, family, and down time?

I’m going to college soon and am nervous that the work load along with my daily life will become too much for me.

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Mustabsheera’s Answer

Maintaining a balance between school, coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal life can be challenging but achievable with effective time management and organization. Here are some tips to help you strike that balance:

Create a schedule: Plan your week in advance, allocating specific time blocks for school, coursework, sports, socializing, and downtime. Use digital tools or a planner to organize your tasks and commitments.

Prioritize tasks: Identify the most critical tasks and assignments each day. Focus on completing high-priority items first, and if possible, break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Set realistic goals: Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a given timeframe. Don't overload yourself with too many commitments, as it can lead to burnout and reduced productivity.

Use study breaks wisely: During study sessions, take short breaks to recharge. Use these breaks for physical activity, like stretching or a quick walk, which can boost your energy and concentration.

Optimize study efficiency: Use effective study techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, where you work in focused intervals followed by short breaks. This approach can enhance productivity and give you more time for other activities.

Communicate with your support network: Let your friends, family, and teammates know about your schedule and commitments. Communication will help them understand your availability and avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Learn to say no: While it's essential to participate in various activities, it's also crucial to recognize when you need to decline certain invitations or commitments to maintain balance in your life.

Combine activities when possible: Look for opportunities to combine tasks, such as studying with friends for group projects or discussing coursework while commuting to practice.

Stay organized: Keep track of assignments, due dates, and important events to avoid last-minute rushes or missed obligations.

Use downtime effectively: Utilize small pockets of downtime for relaxation, like reading a book, meditating, or engaging in a hobby you enjoy.

Involve your family and friends: If possible, involve your family and friends in your activities, such as joining you for a game or supporting you at competitions. This can strengthen your relationships and make your schedule more enjoyable.

Be flexible: Life is unpredictable, and schedules may need adjustments from time to time. Be flexible and adaptable, so you can handle unexpected situations without feeling overwhelmed.

Take care of your health: Ensure you get enough sleep, maintain a balanced diet, and engage in regular physical activity. A healthy body and mind will improve your ability to manage your time effectively.

Remember that achieving balance is an ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and adjustment. Don't be too hard on yourself if things don't always go according to plan. With practice and perseverance, you'll find a rhythm that allows you to excel academically, enjoy your passions, and maintain meaningful relationships with friends and family.
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Megan’s Answer

Hi B!

Great questions! Time management will be huge in college. It can be a bit of a struggle to adjust to going from high school to college with time management but you can do it!

I suggest creating a schedule that includes classes, study times, extracurriculars, and even time to eat and sleep.

Sleep is really important and you will want to make sure you are still getting a full 8 hours and not procrastinating and studying late into the night.

Let's say you are taking 12 credits- That is four classes. Classes are typically twice a week for about an hour- that is 8 hours of class a week. You should study or work on things from class an hour per time spent in class so that is another 8 hours.

Prioritize and set boundaries in your schedule. Telling your friends or family I have to study at this time and can not talk or hang out until after.

When I was in college I was a student-athlete, had a part-time job, had a full class load, and still had a social life. There will be times when things get more stressful like mid-terms and end-of-semester projects. During those times you have to buckle down more.

It helped me to have a virtual calendar, a written agenda that I could double-check or cross things off, and to have daily lists of what I needed to do.

I hope that helps! Feel free to ask additional questions!
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