Have you ever heard someone say,
“The three most important things each college student needs is sleep, good grades, and a social life. But the bad news is they can only have two out of the three.” ?
Well I’m here to tell you that you can have all three, it’s not impossible! But the government might start tracking you once you’ve mastered the skills I’m going to teach you here. 😛
Before we dive right in, lets talk about priorities. How you rank each of these three from most important to least is entirely up to you. Some people may think that sleep is more important than grades, or that social life is the most important. Know what the order of these three are to you. I’m going to use myself as an example. Sleep > Study > Fun/Social Life. I think sleep is most important because without it I’m emotional and cranky. Studying becomes so much harder for me when I’m tired, and I don’t think my friends like it when I’m moody. My grades are the next most important for me, because I came to school to study, and if it were not for school I would not have the friends I have.
Mastering Sleep & Grades:
Falling asleep and waking up around the same time each day helps to get your body on a schedule. Some people are so good at this that they don’t need an alarm clock to wake them up. Sleeping helps your health, mood, and memory, which are three very important elements in the learning process. So you need sleep to stay alert in class, and to help you remember details for a test. I have definitely stayed up all night studying for an exam before, it’s not fun or recommended but I’ve have to do it. I’d stay awake until 3 or 4 am, dive into my bed for 3 hours of rest (and memory storage), and then study again for another hour before I took the test. That is my technique during tough times and it’s gotten me A’s, but that’s not the best way to study. At least not for me. Studying for an exam in chunks a week or before the test day is the best study method in my opinion. Cramming a lot into my brain is very stressful and if I’m tired it can be a very emotional experience. I find myself thinking, “Why am I in this field anyway? Who cares if I don’t do so well on this test. Would it really be that bad if I quit. I can’t do this!” But when I study for a test in chunks over a period of time, I feel safe enough to sleep and I don’t stress out on the test day.
Incorporating A Social Life:
Clubs, community involvement, building relationships with roommates and classmates all have helped me keep a social life ( for the most part ). If your like me, and school and sleep are your top two choices, then it’s easy for you’re social life to get overlooked, but it doesn’t have to. I live on campus, so when I have some free time I go to programs. I spend time conversing with my room mates about our classwork or things we have in common. I call friends from back home when I feel super lonely. And I try to small talk with people who sit next to me in class. To build long term friendships and social commitments I’ve joined clubs and groups of my interest, and I participate when we go to events and such. I listen to people when they tell me their story, and after seeing the same faces on a regular basis, I get comfortable enough to open up and share about myself. That’s what works for me. Other’s have said that room mating with people who are in their same major has helped them build friendships too. Even if I had 7 or 8 classes, I would take a moment to say hello to the person studying next to me, or talk to my resident assistant about how my life is going. Perhaps I’d join a study group that way I could get my academic and social bar filled up at the same time. Having a social a life is possible when you are prioritizing sleep and grades.