Several factors go into the success of your college experience. On one hand, it is a social environment with parties, friends and little adult supervision. On the other, it is a place of academics. Studying may not be your favorite thing, and you may think that the kid down the hall who studies every night needs to learn how to have fun. However, everyone has a choice to make here; that kid down the hall has made it already, and you’ve made it too. You both picked your two choices out of the three total options: a social life, good grades, and sleep.
A Social Life
Do you remember all of those movies that showed massive college parties and people always doing fun stuff? That is only a part of college; how far out you go with your social life is completely up to you. Parties, club meetings and campus events can even be useful to you later on. However, they are not supposed to be the focus of your college experience. Plan your social life carefully. If you go to a party, have someone you trust know when and where. Joined a club? Great, just make sure it does not eat up the rest of your time. Being on an e-board can look great on a resume but make sure you have time for it. You need to have a well-planned schedule and stick to it. You can say no to that ‘study session’ with the person you think is cute or say yes and actually make it a study session. Just know what you are getting into and be prepared.
Grades are at the heart of any college experience. Your degree is the reason you are sharing a bathroom with fifty other people. It is not actually so you can become the best ‘pong’ player. Yes, your archaeology class may be boring, and your information literacy class the biggest waste of your time, but you need them to graduate. Why not make them an A? It will look great on your resume, help you get into graduate school (where some of the GPA cut offs are a 3.5) and give you a sense of satisfaction. Say no to the video game tournament down the hall. Crack open that book and learn. Because the real world does not really care if you are a Zelda champion.
Now it is true we all need a good nap every now and then. However, two everyday is not helpful. On the other pillow is the student who downs caffeine non-stop so that they cannot sleep the entire week of exams. You want to be neither of these. Science tells us to have eight solid hours of sleep a night, but this is not always possible. Know your body. Know what you can function best on and respect it. It may be 5 hours or 8 hours; you may need a nap to be at your best. The important thing here is not to let your social life, or your quest for a 4.0, make you sick.
So while you may not pick the same two all the time, just make sure your keep a balance. Be social and have fun, but get your degree and don’t kill yourself from exhaustion in the meantime.
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