The Busy Life of a College Student

Full Interview with Miller

College life is incredibly busy, and most students rely heavily on time management to stay ahead. If you feel like you’re drowning in responsibilities, you aren’t alone. Almost every college student is struggling to balance their work, school, and social life.

Catherine Miller is one of the hundreds of students at QU feeling the intensity of college life. Miller’s lengthy schedule is filled with school, work, and extracurriculars.

In her cozy kitchen, while cooking dinner and taming her excitable pets, Miller gives an inside look into how she manages her busy life.

“I stay on top of my Google calendar,” Miller explained. “Everything is divided up into 15-minute increments.”

That is her secret to success. Although it is a chore to set aside time for scheduling, it is Miller’s go-to way to handle all of her responsibilities.

While this may seem extreme, Miller says that this is how she eliminates the stress of a busy life. Unfortunately, it comes at a cost.

“A lot of times I don’t get home until six or eight” said Miller. So if she wants to hang out with friends or take a sporadic trip to the movies, she is out of luck.

These kinds of sacrifices are normal for the average college student. With education and working on the mind, everything else takes a backseat.

A study of the average use of student time in hours per day

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, students spend most of their time sleeping or in school, followed by time spent socializing. Other important activities like exercise and volunteer work are far from prioritized.

Having a life overwhelmed by school work can be difficult, and often more than first-year college students bargained for. However, in some situations, this busy approach to life is glorified.

There is a great discussion of this on the University of Illinois student blog. Often times students find themselves focused on competing with the schedules of others. They want to be the busiest and most accomplished they can be. But such a fast-paced lifestyle is not healthy.

According to the New York Post, such a lifestyle can lead to a lot of mental strain down the line. People with overscheduled lives often become “chronic stressors” in the future, always worrying about what they need to do next.

While rapid accomplishment can feel nice, it is not the best decision to make for yourself and your mental health. It can be a dangerous and self-destructive habit to hold throughout your college life.

If you find yourself struggling to balance work and school, remember that you aren’t alone. There are many ways to help cope, whether that involves scheduling on Google Calendar or keeping up with your daily planner.

Take the time to figure out what process it right for you. Remember that scheduling too much can be just as stressful as not scheduling at all.

While the stressors of college life may not going anywhere, the way you choose to address them can make a difference.

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