Let’s be honest, anytime we complain about not having enough time to do anything, we just get yelled at for bad time management. Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have stayed up until 1 a.m. watching The Office, but that’s my form of self-care.
In reality, it can be hard to go to school, stay on top of homework, go to work, and make time to hang out with friends without crashing and burning out.
What I realized in college is that most of this FOMO comes from a weird sense of guilt. We go to school because that’s what is expected of us and because we want to have careers that we enjoy later on in life. We work because life isn’t free. And having a social life where, for the first time in our lives, we don’t have to ask permission to leave the house or tell our parents where we are going is liberating.
The freedom of it all can be a lot to handle at first, but with time, self-discipline, and a little practice, we can all learn to manage our time a bit better.
School is a priority
On the top of the priority list is school. School consumes your every waking thought until the day you graduate. You have classes to go to and assignments to do.
The cardinal rule is that you will have to study for 2 hours outside of class for every hour of class. So if you have a 3-hour class on Monday, you will have about 6 hours of studying ahead of you for just that one class. That’s only for studying that doesn’t include homework, projects, and papers. This will take up the majority of your time, and it’s the least fun.
Whatever time you have left is usually divided by paying your bills by working at whatever horrible place you can get a job at. And then you might have a few hours left over to hang out with friends.
The real FOMO comes on Friday night when you have two tests, three quizzes, a paper due on Sunday, and you have a work shift the next day at 8 a.m., but your friends are getting ready to go out, and you really want to go with them. It is hard to say no. You just spent a week doing your best trying not to drown in all of the work you have to do, so you deserve to have fun, right?
The one thing that got me through college was staying organized. Setting up a routine and sticking to it will make all the difference in balancing your life.
If you have work, then you know to block that time off. Do the same with class time. The nice thing about school is that you get a syllabus at the start of the semester that outlines when things are due. If you take a day to add them all to your calendar, then you can stay on top of your schoolwork.
The sooner you get assignments done, the less you will stress about school, and the more time you will have to go and hang out with your friends. I won’t lie to you; you will probably have a couple of all-nighters. Plan all you want but Finals week and the last few weeks leading up to it are scary times.
I know it sounds easy and obvious, but in reality, staying organized is a lot easier said than done. I always started the semester strong. I put my classes and syllabus assignments in my calendar with reminders for when to start the homework. I would tell my job that I can only work certain days or certain times depending on my class schedule for the semester, but as the semester went on, I lost the ability to stay organized.
It wasn’t until my junior year that I developed enough self-discipline to stay on track the whole time. And let me tell you, it made all the difference. I had time to go to bars with friends, workout, play ball, and enjoy some time to myself.
Do yourself a favor and start practicing now so that when it really matters, you have the skill to balance work, school, and life; otherwise, you will crash and burn, and no one wants that for you.
Balance will follow
Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be. Nothing in life worth having is easy, but you don’t need to set it to the hardest difficulty setting. Stay organized, stick to your routine, and make sure to schedule ‘you time,’ and I promise the balance will soon follow.