Three Tips for College Students: How to Balance Work, School, and Life

School, for me, has always been a struggle. I would be studying five different topics at the same time. All taught by different teachers with different teaching styles and methods. It’s always been hard for me to wrap my brain around so many different topics.

Starting college I was determined to get straight “A”s and be better than my “B” average high school self. That determination worked for me for a while. Though after three years of near constant school [including over the summer] my determination is at an all time low.

My goals have shifted from “A”s to include time for my job and my personal life. My education is still important [I don’t want to accrue all this debt for nothing] but I’ve come to find a balance in my work/school/personal life. Working and going to school at the same time has taught me the value of my time.

So I celebration of starting my fourth [and final, yay!] year of college, here are my top three tips for being successful in school.

  1. Study often instead of hard

    I like to study for short periods of time through out my day. I carry my flash cards with me wherever I go. So if I’m waiting for a class to start, or walking somewhere I can review the information from class. If you study often you can avoid cramming before the exam, and you can avoid all the stress that comes with it.

  2. Keep Organized

    Find a system that works for you! There are plenty of options to get organized but the most important factor is to find a system that you will stick with. My two favorites are planners and Google.

    • Planners are great because they are physical. You can write things down in different colors, use sticky notes and highlighters. The sky is the limit when it comes to planner personalization. The biggest downside for me is that they are little books with your life written in the pages. Somehow I always manage to forget my planners at home.
    • Google has some amazing apps that can help you organize your life. I use Google Calendar [literally color coded and everything, I seriously love Calendar], Keep [think digital sticky notes], Gmail, and Drive [docs, sheets, slides, all easily accessible wherever you are]. If you are a person who is always on the go or, like me, forgets things, then Google might be for you.
  3. Focus on your goals

    Recognize that there are only a limited amount of hours in a day and budget your time. First, make time for the necessities [sleeping, eating, exercise] then add everything else [work, school, extracurriculars, etc.]. Don’t forget to set time aside to do something that makes you happy. Find the time to relax and unwind, you won’t regret it.

So that’s it! The three things I have learned in my three short years of college.

Comment below with any study/life tips you would like to share. Is there something I mentioned here that you also do? Something you do instead? Let me know!