World Class Balancing Act

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Work, class, and clubs. Add on studying, socializing, eating, and sleeping and you have a lot on your plate as a college student! And this doesn’t include taking some much-needed “me” time! If you’re like me, you’ve probably had somebody tell you at least once, “Sleep. Study. Socialize. You can pick two.” I disagree with this statement. When it comes to involvement and time management, I am one of those “have your pie and eat it too” kind of people. I want to effectively balance all the different things going on in my life without having to give up too much. “But Michael, how can I possibly do EVERYTHING I want without giving something up?” Well, I’m glad you asked!

1) Prioritize This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something that a lot of people need to sit down and really work on! For instance, going to class and doing homework should be higher priorities than hanging out with friends or watching Netflix. List everything in order on a sheet of paper from most important to least important. Once you have your activities prioritized, the next step is to…

As you can see, anyone’s schedule can fill up quickly

2) Plan Effectively At the beginning of each semester, I sit down at my calendar with all my different commitments for the semester. This includes my class schedule, work schedule, club meetings, TV shows, studying time, time with friends, and a few other miscellaneous things. The first thing I put on my calendar is my class schedule, since going to class is a necessity for me. Next is my work schedule. I have to make those big bucks! After that, I look at the time I have left over and place all the other events. Dinner with friends on Wednesdays. Watching the Flash on Tuesdays. Don’t forget to leave time for yourself to eat and sleep!

3) Improve Your Study Skills This is a skill that, as a third year student at Iowa State, I still haven’t perfected. Fortunately, there are TONS of great resources for students to use that help with this learning process. One of the coolest resources I have found at Iowa State is a class called PSYCH 131. This is a one credit class offered each semester that teaches students effective study strategies, how to better manage time, and so on. To make it better, it’s offered as a pass-fail class ONLY, so there’s no need to worry about it affecting your GPA if your study skills aren’t up to par. A lot of factors go into studying, but one hour of effective studying is equivalent to over two hours of ineffective studying. Imagine having twice as much time in the day!

Everyone has their own tips for how they stay productive. These are just three of my many, many strategies. I do, however, consider these to be the most fundamental tips I can provide. Now you have the resources, it’s time to OWN the three S’s: Sleep, Study, AND Socialize!

Posted by: Michael Cox