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    How to Balance Work and Leisure

    A large part of college is being able to operate on your own without being told to do the things required. This means getting your work done on time and handing in your assignments by the days they’re due. Another big part of college is connecting with other people socially, forming new, possibly lifelong relationships and finding new experiences or hobbies to take part in. As such, it is important to figure out when is the time to enjoy yourself and when is the time to work on those assignments.

    The most important thing to remember is that your education should always come first in your priorities. You will have plenty of opportunities to hang out with your new friends, but you only have one chance to complete that paper or take that exam. A good rule to go by is the classic line ‘Do what you need to do before doing what you want to do.’ If you have something due tomorrow, tell your friends you will see them some other time.

    Another good thing to remember is that you can take advantage of your increased free time to get work out of the way faster and have more time to yourself. Unlike high school, you are not sitting in classrooms the entire day. You may have a break of an hour or even a few hours in between your classes. While it is tempting to use that time for things other than college work, putting in the extra effort to make progress in or even finish an assignment will help you have less to do later. That way, when a friend calls you to do something or go out with a group, you can say yes and enjoy that time without a deadline looming in the back of your mind. Students with good time management skills are able to both perform better in their schoolwork and spend more time doing the things they enjoy.

    At the same time, working all the time will only leave you burnt out and unable to function at your peak. Yes, long study periods will be required in some cases, but staring at a textbook for 10 hours straight is not healthy. Take the time to give yourself breaks in between your study periods. For example, after studying for 3 hours, take an hour to do something you enjoy. It gives your mind a break and keeps the work from feeling overwhelming. Make sure whatever you do is an activity that you can quickly walk away from so you don’t fall into the trap of procrastinating.

    It’s important to take time to spend with your friends or try new things. College may be a place of education, but it is also the place where you will meet many new people, form many new friendships and learn many new things about yourself as a person. Academics are by far the most important aspect of college, but they’re not the only part. In fact, your social activities can even support your academics. Studying with friends in a group or having a friend quiz you before a big test is an excellent way to get your studying done while also spending time with them. Your friends may have the answers to questions that you don’t understand and vice versa, and putting more heads together only makes the work easier to get through.

    What works for each person is different, and learning how to maintain a healthy balance of work and leisure is an essential part of growing up. We hope that this post has helped those of you that struggle with this aspect of life begin to take steps towards mastering this skill.