Published: Sept. 17, 2019

Students lined up against wall

As college students, we wear a lot of hats: student, employee, intern, family member, friend, significant other. A lot of people count on us and with so many things going on all at once, it can be hard to balance it all. Here are five tips to find a school-work-life balance that works for you. 

Practice time management

Time management isn’t just important for college – it’s a lifelong skill. Practicing time management will not only help you now but post-graduation. So what does good time management look like? Here are some skills to practice:

  • Plan out your schedule
  • Create weekly to-do lists
  • Set goals and deadlines that are realistic (and stick to them)
  • Start early and avoid procrastinating
  • Break larger projects into smaller, more manageable pieces
  • Identify time you may be wasting and find ways to make better use of it (Instagram, we’re looking at you)

Know your limitations and practice saying “no”

It can be challenging to admit, but it's often not in our best interest to try to please everyone. Sometimes it’s okay to say no to people, especially if you’re already feeling overwhelmed. Understanding your commitments and limitations and letting people know when your schedule is full is an important skill to practice. Over-committing to activities can lead to exhaustion, stress and ultimately, burnout. Sometimes the best solution to feeling over-booked is to take a step back and reflect on what we need in the moment.

Ask for help

It’s okay to ask for help, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Whether you need help writing a paper, are looking for a tutor or just need someone to talk to, CU offers a wide variety of support services to students (many of which are free). If you’re unsure where to start or are looking for something specific, you can view a comprehensive list of Support Resources online.

Celebrate small wins

Graduation may be your end-goal, and while it’s a big accomplishment, it isn’t the only accomplishment worth noting during your time here at CU. Instead of focusing on walking across the commencement stage, try to celebrate the small wins you make along the way. Whether you scored well on an exam, landed that internship or simply made it through the week, take some time to celebrate everyday victories. Not only will it help you feel a greater sense of accomplishment, but it can also motivate you to keep going.

Self-care is not selfish

Sometimes it can be hard to make time for yourself when you’re juggling a lot of responsibilities, but practicing self-care can actually improve your mood, productivity and performance. Self-care can be as simple as taking a pause from homework to listen to your favorite song, watching an episode of your favorite binge-worthy show or going on a walk with a friend. Find activities that you enjoy, and make time for them. If you can, try to schedule them out so you have pre-planned time to enjoy hobbies, hang out with friends or just have some “me” time.

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