With the myriad of responsibilities on campus and in our personal sphere, life at university can become overwhelming. As students, we must consider our social lives, academic ventures and club involvement. Whichever preferences you may hold, I argue for a healthy distribution within these areas. How should we go about this? These are some “tips” to keep in mind while creating a balance in your life.
1) Balance Your Classes
This seems obvious: don’t take all your classes on one day. Just don’t. While scheduling, you may run into the issue that your preferred classes conflict. This semester, I’ve taken on the horrible schedule of five classes on Tuesday and Thursday and only one for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s horrible. Having a slew of classes creates a struggle to make it through the day and ends in complete exhaustion. On days in which you have few classes, you’ll be lulled into a false sense of relaxation only to realize the work load due the next day. Although it ranges, the typical course load for a full-time student is about 15 credits or five classes. Split your daily load into three and two. I would personally advise two classes on Tuesday and Thursday and three on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This way, you’ll end up with approximately the same amount of class time each day.
2) Know Time Commitments
This applies mainly to clubs and activities. There is a large assortment of clubs here at WCU which span different areas of interest and vary in their time commitments. Know how much time a club or activity will take up and evaluate your availability BEFORE you commit! So much stress could have been avoided on my part if I had been aware of what I was getting into before I signed on for one. The way I see it, there are three types of clubs: low commitment, in which attendance is optional and meets maybe once a week or every other week, medium commitment, where a certain level of attendance is required and meets somewhat often and finally, a high commitment club, which meets frequently throughout the week and attendance is required. It’s extremely important to know which area your extracurricular activity falls. Do not make the mistake of signing onto multiple high commitment clubs as your social and academic lives will suffer. Three low commitments, two medium commitments or one high commitment would be ideal.
3) Dedicate Time for Yourself
Above all else, if you’re not happy your academic and extracurricular lives will suffer. A prosperous social life falls into two categories: taking time to be with others and taking time for yourself. First, remember to spend time with others. Take time to know your classmates and clubmates outside of the traditional setting. It is important to make connections with people outside of the classroom setting. Don’t forget your roommates, either. You may have good grades and club titles of your wildest dreams, but if there is no one to share your successes with, what is the point at all? Furthermore, take time for yourself and only yourself. For just a moment, relax and take time to sleep in or watch that Netflix series you’ve had your mind on. You won’t regret it.
I encourage you to be involved in all areas of life at WCU. A sampler of academic, social and club life creates the perfect recipe for college life. Be mindful of your needs and don’t stretch yourself too thin and I guarantee you’ll find your balance.
Samantha Batty is a first-year student English writings major. SB908125@wcupa.edu