The Struggle: Balancing Work, School, and Play

work-life balance Mills-ScofieldAs college students, we know the importance of studying hard, and maintaining passing grades. It is a general rule of thumb that you should study an average of, two hours per credit hour, amounting to nearly 40 hours of studying per week for full time students. Now success is very important, but with so much focus and attention on school, where are students to find the time and energy to maintain a job and a social life?

No one has to tell you how challenging this can be, as it is almost guaranteed that you face this struggle everyday. Many of us have been in the situation where you have to make tough decisions regarding school, work and play. Should I pick up an extra shift at work to pay my cell phone bill? Or study for my bio final? Or heaven forbid go out for drinks with my friends! These are decisions we face nearly every day, and making the right ones can greatly affect our future. So what is a guy/girl to do? While the answer may not be cut and dry, there are some ways to better juggle all of the responsibilities we face as college students.

Foremost, remember that you have a responsibility to yourself; to stay healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally. There is no way to effectively pass college, work a job, and be with your friends, if you are not in a good place with yourself. College is stressful for everyone, and if you start to feel the pressure, take some time to reflect. Nothing is the end of the world unless you make it appear that way in your head. Take a few deep breaths, do something to get your mind off of everything, and just relax.

Secondly, try to find a job on campus! What better way to pick up some extra cash, than to work where you learn! There are some great job opportunities in a variety of fields across campus that can not only put some money back in your pocket, but offer great experience and training that will look great on a resume! You can check out for a list of current availabilities.

Another great way to balance work, school, and a social life, is to join a club or organization on campus. The first year of school can be awkward and challenging socially, as it is most often your first experience out of your hometown, surrounded by people you are not familiar with. Joining an on-campus organization can introduce you to a lot of new people, and will most likely lead to some strong, long-lasting friendships. Rush Week is right around the corner for those of you interested in Upstate’s Greek Life, and numerous other clubs and organizations are eagerly searching for new members. To get involved on campus you can request information in the Campus Life Center, or check out the Student Affairs tab on the University’s website.

While it may not be easy, it is possible to do well in school, maintain a strong social life, and even support yourself if you work hard at it. Just remember to take a break every now and then, and put things into perspective. College is supposed to be one of the most memorable and exciting time’s of your life! Go out and enjoy it!