College equals no more fun. Now I’m in college, and I can not have any distractions. NO! College is a learning experience and it doesn’t mean you can’t find a balance between socializing and studying. College is a new and exciting time in any student’s life. One of the hardest parts of college is balancing your time, especially your social time. College life teaches you important life skills, while preparing you to become independent. I was scared of being distracted by this new world, that I chose to isolate myself.
When I was a freshman I found myself isolating myself from events and clubs. I was under the impression that I needed to only focus on school work, and not lose momentum. Throughout that year I found myself struggling with easy material, and not as excited to be in college as I expected to be. I was so worried about not doing well I would stress myself out more. My confidence decreased and my life felt like it was at a stand still. This wasn’t the experience I wanted to have.
I was wrong about only focusing on my future and nothing else. Sophomore year I joined a club, Campus Activities Board, where I found my second family. I found myself becoming more focused, I was excited to go to college, and I had different friends from various majors I can study with. We would study at the library, then have a photoshoot in the Farmingdale gardens, after that get dinner together, and go to a college event like karaoke night. We turned Farmingdale into our second home. Being in school all day I would study independently while my friends were in class, and study as a group when classes were finished. I networked and learned about a variety of opportunities in different careers. The peers I met were just as motivated as I was about their future.
How did I balance my social time and study time? I set goals. Every day I set realistic expectations for what I wanted to accomplish in a day. I would write goals like, “1. Study Chemistry, 2. Finish English Paper.” These lists were realistic and allowed me to focus for a few hours a day. Then, when I completed my list, I rewarded myself with socialization. This allowed me to put the time in for my classes, while also leading to a reward, de-stressing,and taking a mental break. Another strategy I had was setting boundaries. If I had a test Monday, I wouldn’t hangout Saturday and Sunday. I gave myself adequate time to succeed in my classes. Going out is fun, but my future is more important. Additionally, I would start assignments early. If an assignment was completed in advance I wouldn’t have to worry about it when the time came. I knew I might forget about the assignment and have to complete it last minute, so I would get ahead of it. Lastly, what helped me learn how to balance both my studies and social life were the friendships I made. We all respected each other, and knew if someone needed to independently study, we would give them space. Mutual respect is important in any friendship. It allows you to prosper while still knowing you have people to fall back on.
I learned with my peers that in order to excel in college, you needed to have a social life. Time to network and find the long-term friendships that allow you to grow into your future. I found a group of people who would push me to better myself, while also being the people who help me de-stress. I also learned more about myself, my weaknesses and my strengths. I understood that I needed a few hours every day in order to do my best in class, so I planned it into my days. Better knowing myself allowed me to grow and better control my life. With my growth, I found amazing peers and new ways to overcome the stresses of college. Freshman year I was naïve, but I am glad I found a second family who assisted me in learning how to balance my social life with my study life!