As the new school year continues to take hold, both parents and students alike must look at the concept of balance. While much seems to get written for parents on this issue, less seems available for students, particularly high school and college students. When it comes to looking at school work, extracurricular activities, part-time work, and having some sort of social life, how does a student find balance? How do you still sleep? One website I visited recently brought it together well.
University Language’s site “How to Balance School and Work,” provides a good checklist for working high school and college students to keep in mind. It first discusses getting organized. Whether it is through an app or an old-school agenda, it suggests scheduling all activities, due dates, work meetings, and social events in one place. Thus, it is that much easier to schedule or no when not to schedule those things that are just extra in your life. It is that much easier to see the big picture when the big picture is right in front of you.
In a similar vein, it is important to schedule study time. Some students work out of necessity. Others work for extra spending money; while still others work mainly to boost the resume. Whatever the exact reason or reasons, it is important to schedule study time each day. It needs to be treated like an appointment that cannot be broken and for its slated purpose. Doing face book or the like is not a slated purpose!
It is also important not to overbook. Before adding anything new activities to your schedule, it is important to ask yourself if it is essential. While extracurricular activities are great, overdoing them is like overdoing anything else. Also, they fail to impress a prospective school or employer if it is at the expense of your GPA.
With working and going to school, it is important to ask for time off during key times. If you normally give your work due diligence and give your boss fair notice, asking for time off during mid-terms or finals should be very acceptable. It is better than calling in during these weeks at the last minute.
Lastly, make time for sleep. If you schedule your classes, work, extracurricular activities, and social life accordingly, there should be time for adequate shut-eye. (At least most of the time). Sleep is essential for health, true learning, and good job performance. Avoid the pitfalls of all nighters, plan ahead!