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6 Ways to Balance School and Life
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katie goodrich journalism student at a private college 


Meet Katie, the summer 2016 ICI Intern: I’m Katie Goodrich, a rising senior journalism major at an ICI member campus. I believe in grammar, justice and the right to ice cream. I am fluent in English, sarcasm and gibberish. My talents include an incredible memory for '90s song lyrics, power naps and having just enough bad luck to produce great anecdotes.


6 Ways to Balance School and Life

October 28, 2016


College is more than classes, but you are there for your academics. Here are some things that have worked for me when I struggle balancing schoolwork and living my life.


1.     Evaluate your priorities

In order to place the proper importance on things, you need to know what your priorities are. Sit down and think about what is most important to you. Of the dozen clubs and organizations you are involved in, what are you most passionate about? What class will benefit your future most? Which friends will truly have your back no matter what? Devote yourself to those things that make you a better, more well-rounded person.

2.     Set boundaries  

This might mean learning to say no to people. During midterms, you do not have to take on that extra task. You can focus on you first, and that is perfectly acceptable. Setting boundaries also means having self-control. You can set a bedtime for yourself to emphasize your mental and physical health. You can limit your phone time to increase productivity. Try different boundaries for a few days and see what works best for you.

3.     Use the buddy system

Every college student is trying to find this balance, so find a friend that can hold you accountable. Having someone check up on you can be really comforting. More than once my roommates have told me to go to bed and finish the assignment with a clear head, and they’re always right (even if I argue in the moment). Find a person who will unfailingly look out for your best interests, and then do the same for them.

three college students on their private campus

4.     Treat yourself

Remember that college should be fun too. Reward yourself after writing a research paper with a movie night in your dorm room or an ice cream run with your friends. Go see that concert on campus or participate in an intramural team after a stressful week.

5.     Establish a routine

Setting up a daily or weekly routine will eliminate some stresses from your life. It provides stability for you, which eases so many things. You can establish a routine by going to the gym twice a week before class to reenergize or by setting a weekly coffee date with your roommate to take a break. You can schedule time for yourself in the library between classes, so you can go to events around campus at night. This routine can be changed, but it is nice to have something to fall back to.

6.     Start small

You will not achieve the perfect school-life balance right away. It takes time to see what is right for you, but try new things slowly. The more and more good practices you add will make it seem normal eventually. 


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