October 21, 2023

How to Balance Academics and an Active Social Life

Although you’re at university to earn a degree, a big aspect of student life is socializing. Striking a balance between academics and an active social life can be challenging. Since you’re away from home, you no longer have anyone checking that you do your homework and go to class — it’s up to you to be disciplined. At the same time, it’s important to not let your studies consume your life. Socializing is a great way to deal with stress, make lifelong friends, and feel more connected to your university. To make sure you dedicate the right amount of time to studying and socializing, there are several things you need to do.

1. Create a Daily Routine

Block out time to study every day at times when you know you’ll be productive. The advantage of this is it will show you how much free time you have, meaning you’ll never need to decide whether you can afford to go out or if you need to stay home and study.

2. Schedule for Big Commitments in Advance

Note in your calendar when you have important assignments. Since you’ll need to prepare in advance for papers, projects, and exams, you may need to cut down on socializing for the weeks leading up to the assignment. An alternative strategy, though, is to begin early enough that you can maintain your normal routine.

You’ll also need to ensure you remember big social events, such as weekend trips, formals, and important meetings with your clubs. This will allow you to compensate for the time you’ll be unable to study and will prevent you from double-booking yourself.

3. Avoid Wasted Time

You’ll free up time for socializing if you make better use of your day. Spend the gaps between classes doing small chunks of studying and completing tasks that will only take a few minutes. Furthermore, bear in mind that you may be able to go to a social event even if you just have a couple hours to spare, provided you’re strict with yourself about how long you stay. This could make it possible for you to attend multiple events on the same day.

4. Be Willing to Turn Down Invitations

You’ll find it’s impossible to say yes to everything at university — there are far too many activities happening. By all means experiment with different activities at the start. However, you’ll soon need to figure out what you enjoy and what’s not for you. Going forward, just accept invitations for activities you find fun.

5. Make Time to Be Alone

Both studying and socializing can lead to burnout. If you’re finding your classes too much, take fewer next semester. If you’re not used to spending all your time around other people and are beginning to find it exhausting, turn down more invitations and schedule some time just for you. Go to the gym, practice a hobby, or do another activity for self-care.

6. Never Try to Multitask

Multitasking means splitting your attention between different activities, which slows down your progress and lowers the quality of the output. You may try to actively multitask (such as by studying while taking lunch with friends) or you may just become distracted (such as if you reach for your phone to check a notification while you’re in the middle of another task). Working on maintaining your focus will enable you to become more productive.

You don’t need to go far to socialize when you’re at university — you’re surrounded by potential friends. This is especially true if you live in a student community like The Revalie. Our Carleton University apartments provide you with countless places to socialize, including a terrace lounge, courtyard, and clubhouse with big screen TVs, pool tables, video games, and table tennis. Plus, you’ll be able to study in your bedroom or bachelor apartment as well as in our communal and private study areas. Contact us to apply for a lease.

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