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How to Balance a Busy College Schedule

September 19, 2017

My college schedule is jam-packed to say the least – I’ve filled it with classes, labs, club meetings, dance team practices, study sessions, and office hours. Although I love being busy, it can honestly be a handful a lot of the time. Anybody else feel the same way?

Anyway, this is my little handy guide to getting through my crazy schedule, and I hope it helps you get through yours!!

Plan, plan, plan. And plan some more.

I positively live by my Bullet Journal. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the BuJo system, it’s a way of customizing the “planning experience”, and it has truly changed my life.

Katrina's Bullet Journal

There is something so gratifying about writing a to-do list and then checking something off of it, right? Regardless, planning is how I stay on top of my busy college schedule. If I write it down, then I know I have to get it done. If it doesn’t make it into my BuJo, it’s probably not something I need to prioritize. (Or I forgot about it. Which happens. Oops?)

Carry [healthy] snacks with you at all times.

Does this one even need an explanation?

Let’s take this for example: you’ve got a class from 8am – 12pm, a meeting from 12pm – 1:30pm, more class from 1:30pm – 3pm, and then you’ve got to go to the gym from 3pm – 5pm. Did you put time in your schedule to eat?

If you’re like me, the answer is no. It’s funny because eating is kind of a necessity for me, and somehow I always neglect it when putting together my college schedule! As a result, I always try to keep a low-cal granola bar or fruit snacks in my backpack at all time, just in case my schedule gets too hectic for me to eat. Guys, eating is important. You shouldn’t ignore it.

Squeeze time into your college schedule for yourself.

I am the biggest supporter of self-care – mental health is super important, especially in college. If taking care of myself means that I need to skip out on a meeting or stay in bed, sometimes I do take that L. (Of course that’s not something you should do all the time!)

Squeezing time into my schedule for myself could also mean taking a break from homework to work on a blog post or walking to get coffee from your favorite place off campus just because. It doesn’t have to be something big, but it does have to be something that’s entirely you.

My favorite blog to read regarding self-care is Julia in Bluhm. She has amazing tips on taking care of yourself, amongst other things!

Breathe, and remember why you’re doing this!

It can be really overwhelming to have to juggle your busy college schedule, and there is a chance you might want to give up. When that happens, just breathe. You packed your life with all of these things for a reason, right? Maybe you truly love everything you’re a part of. Or maybe you’re working three jobs to save up for a trip!

Remind yourself of your goals, and that will make getting through those days of uncertainty a whole lot easier.

Finally, avoid ultra-overcommitment.

Okay, okay – if any of my friends read this, they’re going to laugh at this part. I am the last person to be talking about overcommitment – I’m on the executive board of 4 clubs, a member of 2 others, AND I’m considering taking on a job or research position. BUT, that doesn’t mean that I can’t advise you from over committing yourself!

During a recent freak-out session about my schedule, my boyfriend showed me this video of Denzel Washington giving a graduation speech because of something Denzel said that would ultimately change my perspective:

“Remember, just because you’re doing a lot more doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done. Don’t confuse movement for progress.”

So yes, having a busy schedule might feel great and invigorating and exciting, but if it’s causing you more harm than good, it’s okay to drop a thing or two. Your mental health is more important, and sometimes it’s better to do one thing really well than do everything all at once.

Final Thoughts

These are the things that I like to keep in mind when my schedule feels like too much to bear, and I hope that these tips helped you a little bit too! Remember that you are always in control of how busy your life is. If it gets too overwhelming, it’s more than okay to admit it. We aren’t all superheroes, even though we’d like to think we are.

Own your busy schedule – the good and the bad! It looks good on you 🙂

Do you like having a busy schedule? How do you manage your time?

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  • Technology Around Me

    Great post, Katrina! I love every point you shared. Caring a snack and taking time for yourself is especially important, and at the same time often ignored.

    • Thank you!! I definitely agree.

  • Love love that quote from Denzel Washington!!!