Maintaining a healthy school-life balance while in college can be tricky. A college degree is more than just a piece of paper you can frame and stick on your wall. For many people, a degree opens the door to paths that would have otherwise been inaccessible. For all the good it can do, a college degree isn’t easy to earn.
Between multiple classes, homework, assignments, finals and all the studying in between, college is essentially a full-time job on its own. In a perfect world, everyone would earn their degree without the added stress of outside responsibilities.
This perfect scenario isn’t always reality, however. There are various reasons many people have multiple things to juggle on top of earning their degree. It could be children, a job, caring for a sick relative or any other time-consuming responsibilities that can’t be put on the back burner.
Whatever the reason, earning a degree while keeping a healthy school-life balance can be extremely difficult. There are some ways to make life a little easier, like looking into the cheapest car insurance for college students to save extra money. With a bit more money in your budget, you can allocate more time to school and less to work, if you are a working student. While those savings may be significant, they can’t solve the dilemma of too much to do and too little time.
No matter how difficult it may seem at times, it is possible to finish your degree while still juggling all the other responsibilities life may throw at you. Read on for some helpful tips on managing a healthy school-life balance while you work to earn your degree.
Don’t spread yourself too thin as a college student
It’s easy to want to jump right in and take on a full workload when you are starting college. But if you have multiple responsibilities on top of your courses, this might not be the best route to take.
Of course, finishing as quickly as possible sounds great to just about anyone. But the truth of the matter is, overworking yourself is a quick way to get burned out. This could leave you dropping your college classes altogether.
Instead, ease into the courses. Many colleges offer part-time courses so you don’t have to over fill your plate. Rather than overwhelming yourself with a full-time course load on top of a job or children or other responsibilities, take a small step first.
Starting small gives you time to gauge just how much your schedule can adjust to the added classes you are taking. For example, you may begin part-time and realize after a while that you can handle a full-time schedule. Or, you may find that your plate is full enough and keep a part-time class schedule for a semester.
There is no wrong way to move forward in earning your degree. Even if you take a little longer than what is considered the expected length of time, it does not take away from your degree. It is better to go slowly and finish than to overexert yourself and not finish at all. Carefully balancing these different responsibilities and aspects of your life is crucial for a healthy school-life balance.
Plan your college courses around your life
Your world doesn’t have to stop spinning because you decided to get your degree. Many people may think they will have to move their entire schedule around to fit time in for college. But working a shift you don’t enjoy or giving up your daily routine to fit in classes can make you begin to resent the schoolwork and eventually give up and go back to your old schedule.
Many colleges offer flexible class times or even online courses, allowing you to keep your current schedule and simply sprinkle in courses when you’re able. So rather than making your schedule work for classes, you can make your classes work for you.
If you work during the day, look for night classes or even weekend options to attend. You can also see what courses your school offers completely online, leaving you with tons of flexibility for completing your schoolwork. As long as you turn in assignments by the deadline, you can essentially complete assignments when you choose, making it easy to stay on top of your schedule.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help while attending college
There’s no way around the fact that college is hard. Whether you have other responsibilities or not, getting overwhelmed is not uncommon among college students.
One of the most critical resources is a strong support system while taking classes. Having people you know you can count on can make all the difference. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you.
Even if it is hard to admit, everyone needs help from time to time. If you feel overworked, don’t be afraid to ask for a day off or a co-worker to cover your shift. Or, ask your partner or another loved one if they could watch your children for just a bit. Giving yourself a break to practice self-care is sometimes needed.
Without a strong support system, you may burn yourself out and feel you can’t continue with college because your other responsibilities are too much.
Remind yourself that your hard work will pay off
It sounds like the most basic advice you can think of, but it really can work wonders. Reminding yourself why you chose to earn your degree can be a huge motivating factor, especially on the days you want to call it quits.
You might be searching for a promotion at work, and the degree you’re earning will put you on the fast track for the position. Or, you may have found your true passion and are now working toward the degree that will allow you to work in that field. Whatever the reason, hold on to it tight and don’t forget it.
It can also help to have people in your corner to remind you during the moments you struggle. Just as your support system is great when you need help, it can also be an amazing moral support to keep moving forward. Having people cheer you on is a great way to remind yourself why you’re working so hard.
Learning to juggle college and other responsibilities
Earning a degree is an incredible accomplishment. Though the road to get there may be filled with some sleepless nights, moments you just want to give up and possibly some tears, the result of graduating with your degree in your hand makes it all worth it.
Juggling college on top of other responsibilities can make the process of keeping a healthy school-life balance even more challenging. But with the right support system, a class schedule that works for you and a tremendous amount of motivation, it is possible to finish your courses and graduate.
This article was contributed by Alexandra Arcand, who writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. Alexandra is currently juggling earning a college degree while working as an insurance copywriter, renovating a home and planning a wedding. She hopes to motivate others to not give up while working hard to earn a degree.
Have a story to share? Get in touch at [email protected]