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Staying Sane and Setting Limits

After starting college, many students try to get involved with almost everything on campus. While it’s good to be active and find activities to fill your free time, don’t find yourself spread too thin that you barely have time to focus on your studies. Establishing a healthy balance with your schoolwork and campus life will help you complete classes and maintain your sanity!

Some campus activities that may take you away from your schoolwork could be sororities and fraternities, campus clubs, sports, jobs (on or off campus) and artistic interests. They all seem like interesting opportunities but you must remember that schoolwork comes first. Here are some ways to balance your personal life with your workload.

Make a List—if you find yourself struggling with the urge to get involved in multiple campus activities, sit down and start a list of the things you’d like to participate in. Take into consideration your course load for that semester and any jobs you may hold. If it seems to be a lot on paper, that’s probably a good indication that you may be trying to bite off more than you can chew. Focus on your priorities and make sure you don’t overdo it and make your school work suffer. 

Learn to Say No—as you work on growing your relationships and establishing a good rapport with professors and other campus personnel, you may find that you’re being asked to participate in more and more activities or programs than you anticipated. Being able to kindly say no to someone’s request will become a trait you should learn quickly. It’s okay to not accept everyone’s invitation to participate and they’ll respect you for acknowledging your inability to give your all at the time. Just let that person know you’re flattered, however it’s not a good time and you’d be willing to reconsider at another time.

Acknowledge Your Strengths and Weaknesses—if math is not your strongest area and you’ve got statistics this semester, you might not want to take on that extra internship. Understanding the amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to acing that statistics class is a very important step to succeeding as a college student. It’s okay to have a weakness in a subject, but it’s not okay to ignore it and take on more responsibilities.

Keep Lines of Communication Open—having a good relationship with your advisor will be helpful if there ever comes a time where things get to be a little too much. Be sure to communicate your concerns or stresses to them so they are aware of what’s going on. They can help guide you each semester and provide a rational voice for when you’re taking on too much. If you find yourself just too bogged down with being a student, it’s okay. Just ask for help. There are plenty of resources on most college campuses to assist in relieving stresses most students encounter.