Tips for Maintaining Balance

You are juggling a lot of competing priorities and interests in college. From classes and related assignments, to taking care of yourself for the first time, to exploring personal interests and making new friends, it can be difficult to find the right balance to keep you in alignment with your goals. This may require some trial and error, especially in your first year. The following tips can help you to prioritize the essential elements to bolster academic success.

  1. Develop a routine that is inclusive of well-being practices. To do your best, you need to feel your best. And to feel your best, you need to protect your physical and emotional well-being. A routine that promotes good sleep, fitness or movement, regular stress management practices, healthful eating, and social connections can help. Classes and study time are important, but so are all of these other things. While it may seem like some of these are add-ons that can take time away from studying, you may in fact find that you are more engaged and productive when you are able to support your physical and emotional needs. 
  2. Plan ahead and utilize your time management skills. Time management may be new to you, and it takes practice. Planning out your time can help you be more efficient in completing work, minimize stress, and allow you to adjust for the unexpected. hen you plan for study and project time, it is important to build in down time when you can reward yourself for your hard work and recharge.
  3. Ask for help. This may feel scary, but ask for help as soon as you don’t understand a subject or concept. Asking for help early on will help you avoid getting too far behind. Asking for help is a sign of strength and self awareness, not weakness. Whether it’s visiting office hours, seeking a tutor or connecting with an advisor, your faculty and your campus have staff and student leaders who are here for you. 
  4. Be realistic and flexible with your expectations. Seeking perfection and having expectations for yourself that are too high can be burdening and stressful. Set goals and expectations that are reasonable and achievable. Adjust as needed. 
  5. Be prepared for setbacks. You may not be successful in every endeavor in college and in life. No one is. Failure and setbacks are normal, especially as you are adjusting to college and new academic expectations. While it may not feel great in the moment, these experiences do provide opportunities for growth and learning.