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Finding Balance in College

Aug 19, 2021

Author - Maahi Patel, Intern at Forward College Counseling


As exciting as college is, it certainly can be a little overwhelming. There’s lots to do now that you’re on your own. Freshmen students tend to get stressed easily due to the academic transition as well as a new social environment that can be exhausting. Based on previous studies conducted, it was found that a huge number of college students feel “hopeless” and overwhelmed. However, it is nothing to be stressed about as it’s all just a learning process and preparing you for your future, which is why Forward College Counseling is here to ensure you have a smooth journey settling in. Your parents have probably worked hard to see you go to university and succeed. Apart from academics, there are numerous other factors you need to consider to succeed. So how will you hold up with everything?

We would like to, once again, emphasize the importance of time management. You are completely in charge of what you’d be doing every day and how effectively you’d utilize your time. Trust us, it’s so tempting to do absolutely nothing, hang out with friends all day long or even just sleep in all day. But think about it, there’s just SO much to do in no time. To be straight forward, it is completely okay for you to say “no” to things you do not want to do. You need to allocate and prioritize your time for studying, exercising, eating, socializing, or any other extra-curricular activities that could take up your interest such as playing a sport. Check out our article on achieving academic success to read more on how to manage your time.

Watch out for your eating habits! Especially if you’re a freshman, oh how easy it is to be a victim of freshmen ’15. You no longer are served healthy food at home; you don’t have to eat what you don’t like, and you can go nuts with all the junk food that can come your way.  Sugar highs and lows can affect the way one can cope with stress and coping with stress can alter your eating habits. Some may binge on junk to deal with stress while some may skip on meals due to stress. Apart from stress, other barriers to healthy eating include unhealthy snacking, time constraints, and convenient and/or cheaper high-calorie food available. Dining halls usually have options for healthy food; so even though the junk food may be tempting, try picking the fresh and healthier options. In addition, make sure your meal timings aren’t too bizarre and of course snack on healthy foods like protein bars, dry fruits, fresh fruits during the day. It is also suggested to constantly have a water bottle with you in which you can keep refilling. You do not want to be dehydrated during a busy schedule!

Along with healthy eating, exercising is necessary and should be prioritized in your schedule along with your academics. When we say exercise, it does not have to be anything intense, but it could just mean simple movements such as stretching, walking or yoga. Movement keeps the body tuned up and increases blood flow as well as sends oxygen to the brain which results in better concentration, memory, and reasoning. Regular physical activity helps you stay energetic, healthy and independent. It not only has its benefits for your physique but for your mental health too. If you’re a freshman, you especially need to watch out for freshmen 15 and exercise is a huge step to prevent it. In terms of mental health, exercising can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve self-confidence, boosts happy chemicals in the system as well as reduces the chances of obesity, heart disease, cancer and numerous harmful diseases and physical problems. You can mix up the type of exercise you get done in a day to keep it less boring and more fun. Go for a walk or run with your friends, hit the gym with a gym partner, join a sports club on campus!

In terms of allocating time to socialize, this completely depends on the type of person you are. Are you an introvert, extrovert, or a mix of both? Make sure you recharge your social battery as college can certainly be overwhelming. There are a bunch of options you have to recharge whether you an introvert, extrovert, or both. This can mean reading a new book, starting a new show, going out with some friends (old or new), taking a nap and/or taking time to yourself and reflecting. Reflect on your life so far, your goals, your achievements and what you’d love to see yourself achieve. Think about where you see yourself five years down the lane and what you would have to do in the present time to see yourself there. Let out your thoughts and emotions by inscribing it all down in a journal. From there, you’d be able to see what you enjoy doing the most during your free time. And again, it is completely okay to say “no” to things that don’t excite you at all.

Last but not the least, try getting 8 or more hours of sleep daily. This means avoid any screen time a few hours before sleeping. Get done with your online work a little bit before sleeping and instead you can try reading before bed instead of scrolling through your phone. There are apps that you can download on your phone to keep track of how many hours of sleep you get. Avoid caffeine and large meals before sleeping and set your room with the right temperature and darkness. Regular exercise is also linked to the quality of sleep we get, but make sure you don’t exercise right before sleeping!

In fact, sufficient sleep is linked to a high GPA! When trying to juggle with academics, social and extracurricular activities, it is vital to get 7-9 hours of sleep. This helps our learning abilities, enhances the memory, and overall rejuvenates the body that helps its mental and physical abilities.

      There’s so much to do in such little time, make sure you use your time wisely and make the most of your time in university. And of course, enjoy the college process and do it all with a smile!



Currie, Jan, and Joan Eveline. "E-Technology and work/life Balance for Academics with Young Children." Higher Education 62.4 (2011): 533-50. ProQuest. 11 Aug. 2021 . 

Welle, Paul D., and Helen M. Graf. "Effective Lifestyle Habits and Coping Strategies for Stress Tolerance among College Students." American Journal of Health Education 42.2 (2011): 96-105. ProQuest. 11 Aug. 2021 .

“International Journal of Physical EDUCATION, Sports and Health.” doi:10.22271/kheljournal.

“Sleeping to Succeed.” Learning Center, 23 Sept. 2020,,and%2070%25%20report%20insufficient%20sleep.

Weinstein, Sharon M. “8 Tips for Finding Balance in College.” CollegeXpress,

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