Have you ever really thought about all the other things going on in your life besides your workload in college? If so, you’ll notice how many things you are trying to juggle all at one time, because it really is a lot once you put it all in perspective. We are expected to do the workload that comes with being a college student while also juggling our finances, our jobs, maintaining a social life, staying healthy, taking care of our families, and achieving our overall goals. So what do you do? Many people have found success by using a planner, creating a calendar, or doing some sort of weekly check-in to ensure you are staying on track. But there are a few things you should do before you buy a planner or implement a strict schedule in your life to ensure you keep yourself grounded. This post will tell you how I have been able to juggle a full-time college schedule, working a full-time and part-time job, being the president of an organization and all the little things in-between.
Prioritize your life
The first thing you should do before making a change in the way your life is to sit down with yourself and prioritize all the many things in your life. I would recommend focusing on four to five, as you don’t want this to feel overwhelming but rather guide you in the right direction. For me, my health was my number one priority. How can you expect to be successful in any other aspect of your life if you are not taking care of yourself? This not only included my physical health but my mental health as well. For me, college came next. This may not look the same for everyone. But I put school before my relationships and even work. Getting the education I needed in order to be successful in my next phase of life was very important to me and so I made sure it was one of my main focuses. Next came my jobs, I needed these in order to live comfortably, and enjoy the luxuries of my life in my free time. I also had to pay my tuition and student loans and so this came along with how I prioritized my education. Next came my relationship. The people in your life are your support system through college and so you must tend to those relationships and not neglect them in the business of your life. Now keep in mind this may not look the same for you. This is where you sit down and figure out what works best for you and your goals. Ultimately, this will help guide you in the next step.
Pick your method
Look at what you have prioritizes and first assess how well you are actually implementing this in your life. For me, my first priority was my health, yet when my workload got heavy I was sacrificing my health and this was something I had to change. Because of this observation, I decided to have one self-care or mental health day a week when I could and at the very least a half the day. This time consisted of no school work and no work and instead of doing the things I love that allow me to check in with my mental health. so whether that be taking a bubble bath, or going on a hike, or reading my favorite book in my favorite coffee shop, I made sure I made time for it. For you, this may be time with your family or kids, or playing your favorite sport, or bingeing your favorite show on Netflix. I also allowed one hour before bed to be my time every day. This means doing my night routine, maybe making a cup of tea and getting in bed with my favorite book. Whatever allows me to wind down and quiet my mind before bed. When it came to my physical health I made a change in my schedule to get up earlier and make it to the gym to start my day. This may mean going to bed a little earlier to make sure you can make this a habit. But if your health is your priority you will be able to make this happen.
Looking at my second priority, my education I knew I needed to use a planner more regularly. For me, this was easy because it was already a part of my daily life but making the change to using it more regularly made a huge impact. In college, you are going to receive so many due dates and assignments, some that may only be mentioned once and never again until the due date. Having one place where all of this is for you to reference will help you out tremendously while also helping you stay organized. This may look different for everyone. this could be a planner, a sketchbook, a bullet journal, or you use an electronic format. whatever it is, if your education is a priority, treat every assignment like one as well.
Because my jobs were also a priority I had to find a way to schedule when I would be at work, class, and time to do homework. This was a struggle for me until recently when I developed a separate method for scheduling. So as I said, I used my planner for assignments, to-do lists, due dates, things like that. I then integrated using google calendar to schedule and time block out my days. This helped me out so much, especially when it came to scheduling specific times to do homework. I also had my school schedule , and work schedules all in one place in a very visual way. It took a lot of the burden of trying to remember what all I had going on in a day. For you, this may be a written calendar or a reminder on your phone, or you write it out each day. Whatever method you choose, scheduling your days and time will help so much in juggling all the things you have going on.
If your relationships are also a priority, be sure to schedule time for them too. This can be a simple phone call to your mom when commuting to your job, or stopping for coffee and to study with your best friend. Finding ways to tend to your relationship without sacrificing time from the other priorities in your life is essential to your success in this category.
Now that you know the steps in finding a way to juggle your life as a college student your ready to balance all the many things in your life and on the road to that degree (almost) stress free!