All Work and No Play? How to Balance Work with Fun
Student life can be super stressful, and don’t worry, we hear you. What, with the constant tests, study group sessions, and seemingly endless stream of readings and homework, it can be understandably difficult to find time for yourself.
It’s important to do well in school, but it’s also important to take a little time off every once in a while. Doing something that you enjoy is a good way for your brain to relax in-between all the hard work it’s doing. If you go easier on yourself every once in a while, you can reduce your heightened stress levels (a clear consequence of working at maximum capacity all the time). Plus, a break from school is a nice reward for a job well done.
Of course, just as school shouldn’t eliminate the possibility of fun from your life, constant fun shouldn’t replace the time you’re putting into your academics. Achieving a balance between work and play is a key part of being a good student.
Here are some suggestions for how you can balance your academics with the time you should be taking for yourself.
Book it. In the same way that you plan out your school assignments and due dates (at least, if you’re conscientious enough to do so), you can plan fun things for yourself, too. On your calendar, make a note of the things you’re going to do in-between your study sessions. You can take relatively short breaks to watch a movie, go out for a coffee, or read a few more chapters of that book you were working on. Stay true to your schedule and you won’t be wondering where your “me” time went.
Make it work. If you’re cooped up with your books all day, figure out a way to at least make your studying more enjoyable. (Yes, it’s possible!) Working on an assignment you like will probably make you happier than studying something you couldn’t care less about—which is a good point to note for the future as well. If all else fails, make small changes to your work environment, like putting on a playlist of your favourite songs or studying (productively) in a group instead of on your own.
Treat yourself. Of course it can be difficult to think about taking time for yourself when you’re cramming for a big test. A good strategy is to focus on your schoolwork first—get it all done and out of the way—but have something to look forward to after it’s done. Make sure to do something for yourself right after the test date, as a reward for all the hard work you did. That way, you can relax with the completed work off your shoulders.