Should I go to that party or finish my assignment? A freshman’s guide to maintaining a social life while going to school

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Ah, the heated question of any student on a Friday night: Do I finish my assignment or go to that party my roommate is raving about? If you are a University or College graduate, you probably would agree that you would have gone to that party, instead of staying home and finishing that assignment like you should have. It’s a mistake that most freshmen commit out of pure innocence and the desire to be social and make new friends. As a freshman living on campus, you are over the moon excited to be going to a new school with new people. You get to live on your own with no parents telling you what to do, where to go and what time to be home. You have all the freedom in the world! However, some students may take that for granted, which unfortunately can come back to bite them in the butt. Maintaining a social life while going to class, finishing homework, and completing projects can be a tough pill to swallow, but it is not entirely impossible. Here are some tips on how to stay on top of your school work, and your social life.

TIP: Make the right friends, they can make or break you.

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Some students may not have the luxury of attending school with their best friend or even picking their roommate, so you have to remember who you are when at school. Your roommate could be the goth-type with 14 piercings, 8 tattoos, wears all black and never leaves her room, or they could be the book worm who is serious about their studies, up at the crack of dawn, and always at the library. You’ll never know the kind of roommate you could get, so if they aren’t for you, it’s okay. So maybe you could make friends with the people across the hall. They seem super cool, easy going and fun to be around. However, they never go to class, are always partying and barely get any sleep. Are those the types of people you want to be around? Choose your friends wisely. You need to have good influences in your life in order to succeed and make it further someday. Make sure your friends have similar priorities as you. You want to befriend someone who understands that school needs to be done, but also loves to go to a party here and there. I never said you aren’t allowed to have fun, just don’t get wild and completely dismiss the whole reason you are there – to go to school.

TIP: Don’t get too caught up in dating, you’re not 36.

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This one could be misunderstood. Dating in University and College can be amazing because you learn so much about yourself. However, it could also be a downfall for some people. Especially as a freshman, you have to remember you are still only 18 or 19. In this day and age, that is still very young. But as a young freshman, you have your own space, make your own rules and set your own curfews. This can be unknowingly overwhelming, so students may get too caught up with living on their own, parent-free. So it’s easy for students to just spend all their time with their significant other, forgetting about school work, friends and family. I’m not saying don’t date, but don’t make it your first and only priority. Go to class, meet people, have fun, and work hard – have a healthy balance of it all. Your university and college years are supposed to be some of the best years of your life, you don’t want to waste them being anti-social because you need to spend every waking minute with your significant other. Trust me, you’ll regret it.

TIP: I don’t care if you’re hungover, go to class.

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Skipping class can be detrimental to your school performance. Once you start skipping class, you may start skipping assignments, tests, or even exams thinking you will always have time to make up for it, and then bam – you have to repeat that class because that time ran out and you failed. If you were out late last night because you were partying or finishing a last minute assignment, that was your decision, so you shouldn’t sacrifice class because of that. Think of it like this: you paid tuition to attend school right? Every time you skip class, it’s like you’re burning 100 bucks. Your tuition probably cost more than an arm and a leg, so don’t waste your money and go to class. This tip goes hand-in-hand with making the right friends. The type of influences you have in your life will determine what kind of mindset you end up having, so have the right one. If you’re tired or even hungover, just go to class, then come home and take a nap. Compromise!

So can you go out on that Friday night and attend that party? Well, you haven’t been out all week, you have been staying in and making sure your homework is up to date. Yes, you can go out tonight, as long as you make sure you continue to work on that assignment tomorrow.

Budgeting your time for your social life and school life is not impossible. Some students think that they have to get every single thing into their university or college career done because it’s the only time they will be able to do it. That’s not true. You have your whole life ahead of you to do everything you want and so much more. Don’t sacrifice your degree because of that skewed perception of life. Enjoy your university or college years, but don’t waste them. You paid a lot of money to get that little piece of paper at the end of your term that says “graduated”, so don’t let that money go to waste. Have fun while still budgeting your time well.

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One last piece of advice. That degree or diploma you earn is yours. Once you have it, no one can take it from you, it can’t run away, or be lost, or decide it doesn’t want you anymore. Your education is the only thing in your life that is yours and nothing can change it. Remember that.

Here are some more tips on how to have a healthy balance of a school and social life:

http://ce.columbia.edu/news/5-tips-achieve-your-optimal-workschoollife-balance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWfiDldGvTY
If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them. Share below!

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