Books pile up on your desk as you cram for the mid-year exam, the boss at your part-time job drains what little remains of your energy with every call he makes about another shift, not to mention the endless messages from your friends and family. You may begin feel like you’re in way over your head, and this whole college student thing just isn’t for you. However, finding a healthy balance between life, work and school is worth the effort.

All work and no play will definitely get you the marks your parents want you to get, but will also dull your entire college experience, not to mention put you in the nerd category. Then again, all play and no work will definitely put you on the fast track to social stardom, and your parent’s basement… with no job or foreseeable future.

Screen Shot 2017 03 06 At 12.44.18 Pm | The Balancing Act Of A College Student: All Work, No Play | Eta College

So while college is primarily about getting an education, it is also an opportunity to meet new people, gain new experiences and learn more about yourself as a person. Thus, a balance needs to be found where you can manage your time not only around these two aspects but also around family and financial aspects like a job. According to research done by Gallup, there are five forms of well-being that can be identified across numerous countries and cultures, these are: career, social, financial, physical and community well-being.

Career well-being: You’re here to study and get a qualification

First and foremost your main objective should be to study and at the end of the prescribed duration, get your qualification. The knowledge you gain here and the time you put in during these years, will become the foundation for your future. Remember that and give it the respect it deserves, plan ahead, attend classes, learn when you can, and study when you have to.

Social well-being: Put yourself out there, friend or foe, until you try you will never know

As important as your education is, College is the perfect time to get to know other people and in the process, gain invaluable life experiences and learn more about yourself. Crunch time will come and you will feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, so when you get the chance to relax and have fun, grab it with both hands. Try new things, visit new places, make friends, fall in love, blow off steam, and even make mistakes. The relationships you create now will mould not only yourself but your future as well.

Financial well-being: Money makes the world go around

Unless you’re a lottery winner or a trust-fund baby, college is going to be tough on your bank account, even more so if you’re no longer living with your parents. Now’s the time to become money-savvy, if you aren’t already. Unless you require a student loan to fund your college dream, steer clear of debt as far as possible. You will have plenty of time in the future to build up a good credit history, for now try to work in cash money. Get a part-time job to fill in those hours you’re not studying or having fun. Not only is it a great way to get that much needed cash, it can also serve as a getaway from the frantic college life.

Physical well-being: An active and healthy body promotes a fit brain

Don’t let the ups and downs of college life leave you physically drained and depressed. Stay healthy, fit and active, not only will you feel better as a human being but you will see a significant increase in brain function and memory. A healthy body equals a healthy mind so go for a jog, join the gym, get a massage, swim in the ocean, do yoga, climb a mountain or play a sport, whatever you do, use this time to rejuvenate yourself.

Community well-being: Heroes aren’t born, they’re made, so be an upstanding citizen

Whether your college community or neighbourhood community, the people you interact with on a daily basis are the people that help mould the type of person you become. Your community also has a big sway on what others think or say about you. Be a role model, help where you can, join causes, keep your neighbourhood clean, abide by the law and become a value member of the community. But remember, as important as your community is, your family is just as important, so visit your folks every now and then to let them know you’re still going strong and making them proud.

The bottom line is that as important as it is to be academically vigilant in college, it’s equally as important to enjoy yourself as a college student. By taking part in social, academic, extramural and physical activities; making friends and balancing work responsibilities, your hectic time in college can prove to be beneficial not only to your career but also to your overall physical and emotional being. So whether you’re studying a management, coaching or fitness course, by managing the balance between work and play, you can manage the direction your future takes. View programmes here.

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