College is just a balancing act


During your time in college, you will make an infinite number of choices that will impact you in one way or another. These choices will be a direct reflection of three components that you will eventually have to prioritize to succeed: sleep, schoolwork and a social life.

In high school, these three components were easily managed, but once college begins, you are faced with temptations, time conflicts and possibly three exams in one day. Prioritizing sleep, schoolwork and a social life can be extremely difficult, and I fully believe that how well you handle these three components depends on the type of person you are.

“Some of us are better than others when it comes to resisting temptations or saying no to peer pressure,” while others, “worry more about grades and class performance,” according to Sally Rubenstone’s article “Balancing College School Work and Social Life.”

While it is true that there are two different types of students, I think it is those who are able to maintain their workload and interact with their peers that experience more success and leave college happier than those who subject themselves to one of the two throughout college.

This can be difficult, however, when you go to a school where the main priority is set for you before you get there. According to Rubenstone’s article, a handful of colleges “have such an intense academic atmosphere” that peer pressure can be related to studying, not going to the bars.

This, I believe, is the first step in helping yourself prioritize schoolwork, a social life and sleep. If your school does not promote your main priorities as its own, it will be impossible for you to accomplish all that you need to.

“If you want to function well at school and work, you need to have a good night’s sleep!” according to a article titled, “5 Easy Ways to Balance School and Life in College.”

Oftentimes I find myself sacrificing my sleep in order to maintain a social life and get my schoolwork done, and just as often as I have done this, I have felt the effects of sleep deprivation.

“While a social life is definitely important, and college is a time to have fun, if that’s the purpose of being here, then you’re in trouble when the real world hits,” Jordan Reinhardt, junior in communication studies, said in the 2015 Collegian article “OPINION: Sleeping all day and partying all night not a healthy lifestyle.”

What Reinhardt said holds a lot of truth. Although it is a part of college to make memories and meet new people, letting yourself become sleep deprived and neglecting your schoolwork will do nothing but hurt you in the future.

This brings me to the second step of prioritizing, which is to dedicate your time to the components of your life that you will reap the most benefits from in the future.

I am the type of person who needs structure. Without it I fall apart and accomplish nothing. I learned during my freshman year that the key for me in finding success was deciding what I wanted to make a priority and what I was willing to sacrifice.

Your life is a series of choices that influence your future in more ways than you can imagine. Once you start college, the choice of what you will make a priority and what you will eventually leave behind is yours. While I do believe it is possible to accomplish your schoolwork, maintain a social life and still be able get some sleep at the end of the day, it would be very hard to give equal time and energy to all of them. An equal balance is impossible, but if you know what your priorities are then you can get pretty close to a balanced college experience.

Hi world! I'm Kaitlyn Cotton. I'm a junior studying English with hopes of going to law school one day. I spend my days writing, reading and working for the Collegian. I have had articles published in the Kansas City Star, the Collegian, and most importantly- my parent's refrigerator.