Should you sacrifice grades for a social life or vice versa?


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Sarah Halsey

The balance between academic success and a social life is an age old problem for students, especially college students. There is also church, work, internships, family commitments, volunteer opportunities and campus leadership roles that require the attention of many students. College, and much of life, is a balancing act. This balancing act is challenging, but it is doable.

There is always going to be something begging for your attention, so it is important to know what is important to you. Prioritizing is the key to time management. You will never be able to balance everything in your life or manage your time effectively if you are overwhelmed by trying to do too many things. It has been said that if everything’s important, nothing is important. A balanced life is possible if you prioritize. But which should you prioritize: grades or friends?

A healthy balance between school and a social life is possible, but it won’t happen on accident. Your life is not going to balance itself. You can choose to focus on school and your friendships, but that may mean you work less. You can choose to focus on family and your health, but your friendships may suffer. The choice is up to you. I have heard, “You can do anything, but not everything.” You have to choose what is important to you and prioritize those things. It may help you to think about your long term goals. Which will help you more in 10 years?

Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, and we each get to choose how we spend that time. Do not let anyone else tell you how you have to spend your day or life. Choose the things that are important to you, not what is important to the people around you. Maybe you feel pressured to have a better social life but you want to put focus on grades. It’s OK to focus on different things than those around you.

Time management is also very important. Choosing the things you will prioritize now is going to help you greatly when the semester gets crazy and you start feeling the pressure of all your commitments. You will have a hard time managing your time if you haven’t decided what is important to you in advance.

You already know what is important to you. You know what you enjoy. You also know what you waste time doing, only because others want you to. Cutting things out of your life that waste your time now is going to help, and the first few weeks of the semester, which are typically pretty slow, are prime time to set these priorities. You will thank yourself later.