How to balance work and social lives

A UMass Boston student studies in the Healey Library while students socialize at Welcome Week.

One of the biggest challenges many college students face is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. As the semester progresses, students will have to make sacrifices in either school or social life. For those students who want to do well in classes and make memories with friends, they need to be able to maintain a good balance.  

One of the first steps is to list the tasks that need to be completed and schedule an allotted time for each. With the variety of students on campus, it all comes down to each student's schedule and how they can breakdown where their time needs to be spent.  

After making a breakdown of what categories need time the most, it can be helpful to make a schedule with each task’s timeslot, such as work, social life, dinner or family. Having a physical or electronic planner can be not only extremely useful but also reduces some stress and helps with feeling grounded.  

An important, yet forgotten, category to add to the planning process is sleep. Many students sleep at various times on different days, which can be unhealthy for the mind and body. It’s important to set a specific time for sleep each night to keep the body calibrated. If it’s difficult to have a set-in-stone bedtime, aim for a time and work toward achieving that. Eventually, a routine will fall into place. To maintain productivity in the long run, it is important to revisit this schedule and revise as needed.  

A way to stay ahead of the game is to look through the syllabus for each class. Add any important dates to the planner, like tests and assignments due dates. Don’t forget to plan out time to study as well. Observe a productive place and time to study, and plan accordingly.  

Social time is important for having a healthy balance, especially in college. For more introverted people, it can be useful to just take some time to do what makes them happy with people who make them happy. For people who love to go out and enjoy the city, try to make scheduled plans rather than last-minute ones in case anything comes up. Look through the social events on campus to help with making more friends and reduce travel time.  

Managing workload and time can also be stressful since planners and time management techniques are not always fully effective in reducing stress for everyone. It can be helpful to check out some wellness resources available to UMass Boston students. Resources4U is a great place for students to find this. There are specific subgroups, such as financial matters and food insecurity support. Another UMass Boston resource to look into is the ULifeline, an online website for college mental health with weekly blog posts. There are links for mental health tips revolving around sleep, nutrition and stress management.  

In a nutshell, college is hard, but it can be easier with the right time management skills, so students can be the best academic and social version of themselves. Planners and schedules are an uncomplicated way to organize events, due dates and tests. Making plans ahead of time can reduce the stress of last-minute changes and avoid overlaps. Check out the resources available at UMass Boston, like Resources4U and ULifeline.

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