The Balance

Maintaining the demands of everyday life and fulfilling the obligations required to recieve an education are responsibilies that all students share! Most often students strive to be successful both scholasticly and in many aspects of life. In order to achieve a "happy median" or balance between the inevitable combination of life and school, I believe students should keep in mind a few basic guidelines to maintain organization and SANITY!

  1. CREATE REALISTIC OBLIGATIONS- Before you sign up for classes, take some time to make a mental or written list of all of your day to day obligations that do NOT include scholastic responsibilities. Once you have created your list, plan a class schedule that allows you time and availability to fulfill both your everyday duties and educational demands.
  2. USE A PERSONAL CALENDER- In this age of technology, making daily use of a personal calendar might just mean pushing a button on your Smart Phone! However you go about recording your obligations, MAKE SURE YOU RECORD THEM DAILY! Make a list of everything you have to do each day, preferably, a week in advance. Updating your personal calendar will allow you to see any conflicts your schedule and rearrange duties accordingly.
  3. CHECK UNCW ACCOUNT REGULARLY- Log on to your Seaport account regularly to check email, Blackboard, SeaNet account, etc. to stay updated on assignments, campus activities, and events that may require time in your schedule.
  4. STAY CONNECTED- As the common phase states, “Life Happens!” With that being said, you should make an effort to create open communication avenues, such as e-mail, with teachers, child care providers, and/or employers. Active and prompt communication with professors, for example, allows you the opportunity to let them know that an unexpected event has occurred in your life and the teacher the opportunity to take it into consideration instead of assuming irresponsibility on your part.
  5. PRIORITIZE/SCHEDULE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES- Since no one is made of money, forward thinking involves planning payment of financial obligations. Keep an active list of bills and decide when and how to pay them in order to avoid unaffordable “surprises”. For example, if you are like me, paying tuition with the swipe of a card is impossible! Fortunately, UNCW provides several payment plans (through SeaNet) for students that want to pay for classes in installments.
  6. MANAGE YOUR TIME- Use gaps in your schedule to complete tasks! For instance, you could use an hour break between classes to run errands, buy groceries, or complete a class assignment. Instead of procrastinating, complete small tasks in the “cracks” of your schedule to avoid franticly trying to meet deadlines later.
  7. PLAN AHEAD AND PACK A BAG- To conserve time, gas, and sanity, keep extras in your tote bag or vehicle. What is extra? By extra, I mean bring necessities to make it through the day! Pack a lunch, grab your gym bag, grab your textbooks and cell, and in most cases a much needed cup of coffee! Pack your necessities the night before and in the morning (after you’ve hit snooze twelve times) you can grab-and-go!
  8. RELAX!- Life can present stress in many forms including everyday tasks and school! Therefore, it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to take a deep breath and a mental break from time to time. There is not always enough time to cuddle with the couch and a pint of ice cream, but you have to make time to clear your mind! Make time to focus on a positive hobby and refresh yourself so you can start a new set of obligations with a refreshed mindset. My preference for a clear mind, a pedicure and a cup (or six) of wine (with a DD of course)!

Works Cited

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