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Striking a balance how to manage your social life alongside your studies

Striking a balance how to manage your social life alongside your studies

As a student, it can be extremely difficult to learn to balance your studies and social life.

There's a lot of pressure during this period of your life to succeed in both areas, and this can sometimes cause negative mental health problems to arise. If you spend too much time socialising and building connections but not enough time studying, you're likely to struggle to succeed academically. On the other hand, spending all of your time revising and ignoring social calls will only lead to feelings of isolation and low mood.

Luckily, we have some helpful tips to guide you on how to strike the balance just right. With good time management, a little self-discipline and by adopting positive daily habits, you can achieve both a blossoming social life and brilliant academic results throughout school, college or university.

Here's how to manage your social life alongside your studies. 

Prioritise self-care

Have you ever heard the saying, 'You can't pour from an empty cup'? Now is the time to adopt this mindset. In order to be able to focus on your studies, you'll need to be well-rested, properly nourished and stress-free. Similarly, you won't be able to enjoy time spent socially if you are tired, lethargic or anxious.

Set yourself up for success by prioritising your self-care habits. Go to bed on time at least for the majority of the week, eat healthy meals and make time to exercise and relax in a way that suits you best. Naturally, socialising is a basic human need that also sometimes falls into this category. If you're savvy, you could do a fun sport with your friends to simultaneously tick off both socialising and physical exercise in one.

Invest in a planner

If you've never had a planner before, you may be missing out. As adult life continues to become more and more complicated, having a good old-fashioned pen and paper book to keep track of all your responsibilities, commitments and appointments is invaluable.

Allocate specific time blocks for study, friends and family, keep track of your lectures and deadlines, and plan ahead. Keep the balance by adjusting your schedule as necessary for busy periods. If you have an exam coming up, you may allocate more study blocks than social blocks for that week so you have adequate time to revise. The following week, your plans may be more socially based. By creating a schedule, you might find that you feel less stressed and more on top of everything.

Maintain healthy coping strategies

It's always important to keep tabs on your mental health and to learn to be aware of unhealthy coping mechanisms. During times of high stress, such as when studying, it can be all too easy to fall into unhealthy habits that seemingly serve us in the short-term, but can be catastrophic to our long-term health.

Whilst socialising, try to avoid excessive alcohol consumption and always refuse narcotics. Having a good time needn't end in disaster, and won't serve you well the next day when you have to return to real life. Check in with yourself regularly to notice patterns of unhealthy behaviour that you may be developing to cope with stress, and seek help if you need to.

If your studies are becoming unmanageable, always reach out to your tutors to seek help and advice. Remember that everyone wants you to succeed, and there are ways to rejiggle your schedule or deadlines to ease your anxieties. Try also to be a sounding board for your friends and fellow students, as you're sure to not be alone with your stresses and difficult feelings.

Don't overcommit

When you start a new school, college or university, there are often hundreds of groups, clubs and sports teams available to join. Whilst it can be tempting to sign up for everything, check your free time slots first. By only committing to those that you can afford to allocate time to, you'll avoid becoming overwhelmed and stressed by rushing to and fro. The same goes for social engagements, and study classes too. By taking a realistic approach and planning ahead for each week, you'll be able to establish a healthy balance of time spent on yourself, your studies, and your social life.

By Trevor Walker - Consultant Researcher
Digital Content & Media

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