It’s the number one question that separates the super-achievers in college from the party animals: Are you here to earn good grades and learn valuable lifelong skills, or are you here for the active social scene?
If you fall somewhere between the two spectrums, you’re not alone. Most college students want to do well academically – but they also want to have fun!
Think you can’t have both? You can.
1. Choose your friends wisely
The people you hang out with are going to influence your study habits. During the getting-to-know-you stage, try to find students who share goals that are similar to yours. This way, you won’t be swayed to skip a study session for an all-night bash. Also, when you’re friends with your study partners, schoolwork can become a social activity!
2. Eat well, sleep well and exercise
No, your mom isn’t here to remind you to eat breakfast and get to bed at a normal hour, but taking care of your physical needs is one of the best ways to facilitate academic success.
Want to skip the workout for yet another party? Why not bring the party to you? Invite a bunch of friends to work through a fitness DVD with you, organize a morning group jog or pair up with a friend for an afternoon run. You’ll be doing your body and your mind a favor.
3. Designate study times
Since college means more free time than you had in high school, buckling down to work takes serious discipline. Instead of waiting until there’s nothing going on to do your work, review your schedule and designate specific times for studying, preparing for classes, research and writing your papers. You’ll be more likely to get that work done if you’ve decided when it’s going to happen ahead of time.
4. Set aside time for social activities
All work and no play makes Jack the dullest student ever. Be serious about your schoolwork, but don’t forget to have fun, too. It’s OK to drop your workload for a spontaneous event or outing. Just make sure it doesn’t happen frequently enough to hurt your school work.
5. Shut off your phone when studying
You don’t need to be a social media junkie to know that smartphones are addictive. Even if you stuff your phone into a drawer while studying, the slightest beep or vibration will be enough to have you digging it out and checking for missed alerts or updates. To avoid the temptation, shut down your phone completely, turn it on airplane mode, or leave it in another room (on silent mode) when you’re tackling your schoolwork.
6. Join a club
The best way to find like-minded peers while in college is to join a club. You can find potential friends who think like you and know how to have a great time without staying out all night. You’ll get the balance you need for social interaction without letting it take over your college life.