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Tips to Help You Balance the College Life

These are just a few of my tips and tricks to help you navigate the hectic schedule of a college student.

There’s no doubt that college isn’t easy. You are taking new classes and adjusting to a new life all while still trying to keep up an active social life. And those that are members of a fraternity or sorority adds an extra layer to your already busy schedule. Many students also hold jobs during their schooling, yet another complicated factor. But, speaking from experience of having to balance all of these factors, believe me when I say, this can be done. You can do this! These are just a few of my tips and tricks that I have learned over the years.

1. Time Management is KEY.

I know, I know- the most basic of all the tips. But it really does work. Once a week, make it a point to sit down and write out your to-do list for the week. Doing this will help you plan out what you need to do on a day to day basis.

2. Invest in a planner.

I will sing the praises of a good planner until I am blue in the face. I am a very visual person, so being able to see it all laid out month by month helps me put everything into place and keeps things organized for me. I also highly suggest color-coding your classes, your sorority events and your workdays. I have found that by using the different colors, it allows the dates and events to stick out better in my head compared to all of the same color. At one point last year during the Fall semester, I had 9 different colored pens going.

3. It’s OK to say no.

It can all become overwhelming at some point, having to juggle all the balls in the air. So, it’s OK to say no to something. It’s OK to pass on this week’s sisterhood event or choose to stay in for the night rather than grabbing dinner with your friends. There is no shame in saying no. Saying no can also work for your work shifts. If you can’t work, you can’t work, simple as that. I am guilty of trying to please my boss or my coworkers by working more shifts than I can manage, but I have had to make it a point to put my needs first. There were times when I had to take an entire month off of work because there was a sorority event every weekend and class due dates every two days. It felt good being able to put my focus on the things I needed to get done and when it was all over, I was back at work and managing it all again as usual.

4. Make it a point to take a day to relax.         

Your mental health is key. Everyone is talking about how important proper mental health care is so important and feel free to add me to that list because taking care of my mental health has helped me live the life that I currently have. I always tried to take one day a week to relax, whether it was just sleeping in for a few extra hours or doing a full pampered spa day, it was vital. Take the day to decompress and be as lazy as you want. Whether you can manage it once a week or once a month is completely up to you and your schedule, but it is a necessary factor for your well-being. The better you take care of yourself, the less likely you will be to bottle everything up until it boils over.

They may be small tips, but small adjustments can make a big difference. As an important reminder, it is totally ok to take these tips slowly and work your way up to using them. It is also completely ok if these tips don’t work for you the same way they did for me. I highly suggest taking a learning style quiz to figure out how you learn best and then adapt these tips to ways that fit your learning style. Taking the quiz is how I recognized that I am both a kinetic and visual learner. No matter what happens or how busy your semester is, just know that it may be hard but if anyone can do it, it’s you.

Nici Fannin

Nici is a member of Delta Gamma from the Delta Nu chapter. She attended Northern Illinois University where she earned a bachelor’s in communications. Her younger sister was born exactly one year after her, making them Irish twins.

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