As midterm season is rapidly heading towards finals, the stress on campus is palpable. Statements such as “I can’t, I have to study” are becoming more and more frequent as people hide away in Main Stacks writing essays, making study guides, and cramming for tests. If you find yourself in this category, questioning when was the last time you interacted with someone without it being for a study group, you’re not alone! However, now is the time to take care of yourself mentally and physically so that you can succeed in all aspects of life, not just on your next problem set.
So, here are a few helpful tips to achieve balance in your life:
Stay Organized
Step 1 to balancing life as a student is to stay organized. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with schoolwork, especially when you’ve spent all weekend studying for a midterm on Wednesday and realize you forgot you have a paper due on Monday. As work piles up, school seems to take precedence over almost all other aspects of life – sleep, socializing, exercise, hygiene… A good way to avoid letting stress take over is to plan out a study schedule so that you can stay on top of your schoolwork.Untitled
Tips on how to do this:
  • Get a planner or calendar! Or, for those of you who prefer to use technology, download a scheduling app such as Planner Pro. Mapping out when assignments are due allows you to plan ahead and make time for more than just studying.
Exercise
Step 2 to achieving a balanced life is to make time for physical health. I don’t know about you, but exercise is the first thing to go when I get stressed with schoolwork. It’s all too easy to say no to making that trek to the gym or putting on tennis shoes to go for a run when you have the excuse of needing to study for an upcoming exam. However, research shows that exercise is linked with improvements in mood, memory retention, focus, concentration, and stress management. So the next time you think you don’t have enough time to go to the gym, remember that taking a study break to exercise could actually help you get a better grade!
            Tips on how to do this:
  • Get a workout buddy ~ It’s much easier to motivate yourself when you have someone to go on a run or go to the gym with.
  • Mix it up with your workouts ~ Tired of running on the treadmill every time you exercise? Check out the variety of classes offered at the RSF or consider signing up for a PE class for the spring semester.
  • Join an intramural sports team ~ IM sports offer a fun and social way to become more physically active throughout your week.
Treat Yourself
Step 3 is to always remember to treat yourself. When you start to feel like all you do is study, it’s important to take a step back and realize that there is more to life than school. Think about what you enjoy doing – whether that be watching Netflix, going to concerts, hiking the Fire Trails, or trying out a new brunch place – and make time for it in your day-to-day life! Taking a break from studying will improve your mood, help you create closer bonds with friends, and give you a renewed sense of focus when you get back to studying.
Tips on how to do this:
  • Try to do at least one thing a day that you enjoy! A good way to make time for this is by scheduling study breaks & fun events in your planner.
  • Take care of your mental health ~ utilize the Tang Center’s resources such as the stress-relieving massage chairs or the counseling services offered to all students, with or without SHIP.
In Conclusion…
These are just a few areas to work on that will help you achieve a balanced life as a student. For more helpful tips, check out the Tang Center’s “Be Well” page that offers a variety of resources for all aspects of personal wellness! As this post comes to an end, remember – taking care of yourself is key to a happy and fulfilling life.

 

Sarah, Peer Adviser