Finding time to have fun during the school year can be challenging for many students. However, maintaining a balance between work and play is important for both intellectual growth and emotional wellbeing. If school becomes all work and no play, then you are neglecting your social needs. Here are some tips to help you succeed in school without forgetting about your friends or missing out on important life moments.
Regardless of how demanding or complicated your schedule gets, you’re in good shape if you can stay on top of it all with time to spare for self-care, family, and friends. If you can’t, then you might need to assess whether your course load is too large. Plan your school and work schedules (if you have a paying job) first, and then speak with your family and friends to schedule quality time together. From movie nights to day trips, plan exciting outings that everyone can enjoy. Extracurricular activities that you find fun can be considered as well.
Write out your “to-do” list and plans with family and friends right into your agenda book so you don’t have to worry about forgetting any commitments. Plan out how you will prepare for a test or complete a project, not just the due date. This will ensure that nothing falls by the wayside. Scheduling will also help you stay productive.
Complete your homework and chores at the same time each week. This gives you predictability and helps to mold your schedule. It also helps streamline everyday tasks. Having clear expectations will make life easier and it will allow you to better project how much free time you have each week for yourself, as well as family and friends.
Be real about how much time you need to complete your work. For example, if you need an hour to study for a test, add an hour to your schedule, not less. It might be tempting to pack your schedule to the brim, thinking you’ll iron it out along the way somehow. This will only cause stress in the long run. Being realistic from the beginning will help you keep your stress levels down and avoid guilty feelings that may result from the need to break plans.
Put your heads together with your friends and designate a friends’ night on a regular basis. Prepare a meal together, play board games, watch a favorite TV show, or go for a bike ride. Take a short break from school work and instead focus on having a good time.
Meeting all the demands of school and an active social life can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Schedule time for yourself to refresh and renew, whether it’s a short nap, meditating, taking a yoga class or going for a walk in nature.
If you reach a point where you feel overwhelmed with school and chores, turn to your family, friends, classmates or teachers and ask for help. There is no shame in speaking with someone about how you feel. Sharing your feelings will make you feel less alone and you will probably learn new coping strategies.