College Q&A: Help Me Balance School and Fun

Got some college questions? Unsure of a decision? Worried about rooming blind this Fall? Just wanna chat it up with some really awesome chics? We’ve got the girls for you. Hit them up in the comments or shoot them an email with the subject “College Q&A”! They’ve got all the answers you need, no matter who you are.

Next month will be my second year at my new college. This past semester I didn’t do anything fun. I was miserable and studied the whole time. I came out with a 3.8 but no new friends. How can I balance schoolwork and get out and meet people at the same time?

GPA Girl:
Story of my life . . . haha, no, just kidding. Well, sort of. I also studied almost all the time, but so did my friends, so I think it evened out. You are perceptive to realize that you need to strike a balance between your social life and your academics, and it’s wonderful that you place both things as such high priorities right now. Friends and relationships from college are just as valuable (and often more valuable) than the grades you get there, so I wouldn’t want to see you miserable but acing every test for another semester. Have you considered signing up for some clubs, activities, or intramural teams? Busy Bee might have more to say about that. Don’t go overboard and start attending every single thing on campus, but going to events that feature your hobbies is a surefire way to meet new people who share the same interests. If you can manage to get on the e-mail lists for a bunch of different campus activities, you can pick and choose those that fit with your schedule and start meeting people that way. Also, it’s totally possible to meet new friends and study at the same time. Ask interesting people from your courses to form a study group, or ask your current friends to study with you on a standing weekly date and bring their friends along as well. Go out for dinner or coffee beforehand and chat with the new people who come along. Good luck!

Party Girl:
Believe it or not, I was once in the same position as you are now. However, as you can see, I got through it (with flying colors, if I do say so myself). The trick is time management. Since my dorky days, I’ve become an excellent planner. In fact, I always have a planner with me. Seriously – that thing has saved my life (well, my social life) on more than one occassion. I decided that studying couldn’t dominate my life anymore, so I made out a strict schedule of classes, study times, and “break” times. I kept everything separate from each other (no drinking while studying and certainly no studying at the bar) and after a while, it became second nature. Of course, there were a couple times where I had to give up a sweet-ass party to cram for an exam (and times when I blew off a night class to catch Happy Hour). There’s always gonna be some give and take during college (despite my prayers, there’s no way you can get a 4.0 and binge drink every weekend). Hopefully, it won’t be all give this year for you!

Busy Bee:
Girl, I know EXACTLY how you feel. Sometimes we are so caught up trying to get amazing grades and beefing up that resume that we often forget about our social lives. I don’t know what your college is like, but at my school, it’s hard to make friends because people are always bustling in and out of class. In addition, I didn’t live on campus my first year of college so I missed out on the late nights and campus diner experiences. If you are living on campus next year, try getting to know your floor mates well. Also, make it a goal to befriend at LEAST one person in each class. That way, even if you don’t become BFF’s with them, it’ll be nice to have someone cover notes for you on days you want to sleep in. Plus, studies say that more friends mean better grades!

To answer your question, the best way to balance school work and friends is to understand time management. Know your capabilities – how much work can you do before you burn out? How much time can you allot for friends before you start stressing about unfinished school work? If you know your limits, then you can successfully study and party.
Lastly, understand that not everyone you meet will become your best friend. There are some interesting characters you will meet in college. Whether or not you make “friends” is not the big deal – just focus on getting yourself out there, meeting people, and knowing which hang-outs are worth your time.

Oh…and sometimes “fun” doesn’t have to mean hanging out with people. Sometimes, it’s allowing yourself shopping days, exploring the city, or finding a hobby that you absolutely enjoy. Just make sure you plan ahead and give yourself a much needed break sometimes!

Are Final Exams so 2000?
Are Final Exams so 2000?
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