School can be challenging. If you are a social person, you may worry that you will have to set that aside during your studies. A social life is important, however, and you can balance time with school and friends without either side suffering. Take these steps to keep school and social life in balance.
Set Study Times in Increments
Study time feels less daunting if you give yourself a specific increment of time for study. This doesn’t have to be the same time each day, unless scheduling that way helps you. Planning study time in hour-long increments lets your brain and body know that you are devoting energy to study only during that time. When it isn’t study time, you can socialize to your heart’s content. This ensures you get learning in each day while still maintaining a social life, which can help quiet inner resistance you might have towards study.
It is no secret that many students are sleep-deprived. Don’t let this be you or you will suffer both academically and socially. If you want to excel at both, get as much sleep per night as you can. You will be able to juggle your busy schedule and make wiser decisions when you’ve had adequate rest.
Plan Social Time
Schedule social time in balance with study time. Let people know when you will be available to go out and have fun, and then allow yourself to leave coursework behind and out of your mind when socializing. If there is a party or activity going on during your allotted study time, try not to make exceptions. There will be other times when it won’t conflict with your schedule. You could also plan social time during the evenings on the weekends, when you know you won’t have tests or class.
Using alarms on your phone or other devices can help you stay on track when you have a tight schedule. It’s easy to lose track of time when sitting around chatting with friends. An alarm can alert you when it is time to take a break from socializing and go study or run an errand. Good friends will understand and shouldn’t be offended.
Surround Yourself with Friends Who Understand
The more friends you have who understand your schedule and respect it, the better. They will be less inclined to tempt you with offers to go to lunch when you are cramming for a test or drafting a paper. You may even decide to room with those who are studying the same thing as you.
Take Online Classes
Taking online classes can allow you to really be flexible with your schedule and plan around other things so you can work and socialize at a time that works best for you. For example, you can get a master’s degree in education online so you can successfully juggle work, family and social life.
The methods you learn to balance your social time with your study time will help you for the rest of your life. Hard work has its place, but interactions with friends are important for emotional and mental health. Consider the time you devote now to learning this balancing act as some of the best time spent for future happiness.
This article was contributed by guest author Anita Ginsburg.