How to Manage a Social Life, Getting Enough Sleep, and Keep your Grades High

Have you noticed your stress level shoot through the roof in the last week? How does it feel like you're weeks behind when you've only been in class a few days? First of all you need to know you're not alone. It's HARD going from summer vacation back into classes and having commitments. So how do you you manage to have sleep, a social life, and good grades in college?

I know most of us like multitasking, myself included, but it doesn't always work. If you want a quick way to make your life easier, don't study with the TV on or loud music playing. Obvious, right? But we all still do it. What I have learned over the past year is that it's ok to study "simpler" subjects while watching TV, but if you're trying to learn calculus, chemistry, etc, leave your room. I, for one, simply CANNOT focus with a TV, a laptop, a mp3, and a smartphone all at my fingertips. The library is a great place to get away, but remember there's more than just Wells. Check out the Jordan Hall, Chemistry, or Geology libraries. They're often less crowded and quieter than Wells and so, are better study spots. The trick is not bringing all your technology with you. Bring only what is essential. Should you listen to music while you study? That's up to you, but some types of music aren't good for studying. For example, I love Linkin Park and Sugarcult, but who can really focus when listening to that? What I actually tend to do is pick a symphony for each subject and listen to that same music whenever I study that particular subject and on the way to the corresponding exams. I know it's bizarre, but it seems to work for me! Basically, find what works for you for each subject and stick to it!

Ok, so we know my study tips for good grades, but what about managing your social life? The easiest way to do this, for me, is to text/call during study breaks and while walking between classes. I don't like to text during my long breaks (i.e. over an hour between classes), though, because it is a sort of built in study time that I take advantage of. What you can do is study with your friends or save most social outings for the weekend. I know that's not what you want to hear because I don't want to hear it, either. It's hard not being extremely social during the week, but it helps your grades and sleep.

Speaking of sleep, naps are the best thing ever. I drink so much caffeine, it's ridiculous (and ridiculously expensive), but you may not need to. When you're unmotivated to work or you're just so exhausted you can't focus, take a 30 minute nap. Make sure you set an alarm or else you'll sleep for a long time and then you won't get a good nights' sleep, which starts a vicious cycle of napping. I only say that because that was me last year and it really hurt me. Long naps take away from your study AND social time. They're appealing, but not practical. Also, at least try to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night! It'll keep your stress level down and help you to be a functional human being.

In closing, you CAN have a social life, sleep, and good grades, but it takes some planning ahead and motivation. Good luck with your classes!

For other useful tips to be successful, check out these articles!

About The Author
Christen HelouGeology and Biology Major, Class of 2016

I'm officially majoring in geology at IU Bloomington, but I'll be adding biology this year, along with minors in animal behavior and chemistry. I will also be getting my scuba diving certification. I love reading, playing harp, and hanging out with my amazing friends!