How to Balance School and a Social Life in College

If you are a senior in high school and you are about to be in college, you may be worried about several things. This is normal because you’re doing something new that is very overwhelming. 

A lot of incoming freshmen worry about how they are going to balance everything. This is understandable because this is the first time that you were going to have your freedom and it is also the first time that you’re going to have a ton of coursework.

Of course, it is important that you realize that you’re always going to have to put school first. Even if that means missing out on the latest thing to do or having fun on a Friday night, you always need to put your studies before everything else.

However, you are paying a lot of money for college and you want to make sure that you are enjoying yourself and not just burying your nose in a book. There is a difference between studying the amount that you need to to get very good grades and spending too much time on schoolwork.

Believe it or not, there is actually a thing called too much studying.

I realize that this can be hard to get used to especially if you aren’t someone who was a person that studied in high school. Now all of a sudden you have to figure out how to study and have fun with your friends.

This is definitely something that all college students think about and it may take a little bit of time to figure out the real balance.

My first semester, I definitely spent too much time studying.

I figured out a good balance by my second semester and I actually did better my second semester than my first even though I had probably studied more. These are the types of things that you are never going to figure out until you realize that the only person who can figure this out is you.

Your parents and your teachers cannot tell you how to balance your life only you can.

But don’t worry, you will figure it out eventually everything will go well and you will be successful. Here are some tips that I can tell you after my first year as a college student on how to balance school and social life.

Hopefully, this will take some of your worries away and make you even more excited to start the best for years of your life.

Top 7 Ways to Balance School and Social Life

  1. Keep your schedule updated – You need to track what you do and have a schedule. Use a day planner as I do. You can track when is the best time to study when is work if you have a job at college and when can you go out for social events with friends. A tight schedule will keep you on track in college.
  2. Sleep – Make sure you get enough sleep. Do not try and study all day then party all night. This will take a toll so only do something like this every once in a while.
  3. Study smarter and not harder – Make sure you set a specific time to study. You should also take a class or online course on how to study more efficiently. Studying in college is different then what you have to do in high school. You can check out this site Study Right.
  4. Get help – If you need help with classes then get a tutor. Other students can tutor you for a low cost and the university may have tutors for free. To balance school work so you have time to be social you need to get efficient at studying so you may need help especially your freshman year.
  5. Take breaks – You need to take a break from studying then do it. You can go to work out or take a walk. When you come back you will be refreshed and ready to study again.
  6. Eating good – You need to eat well to keep brain functions high. Make sure you are not just eating pizza and burgers every day.
  7. Be social – when in class or at the gym and anywhere in between be social. It’s great hanging with the friends you are close to but making new friends is fun. It will give you a boost to meet new people every week.

Exams/ Finals

To me, the main difference between college and high school is the importance of your finals and your exams. When you take a test in high school, although it is very important, it may not determine your entire grade.

I had a final this semester that was worth 50% of my overall grade. This meant that if I failed this exam I would fail the class and have to retake it. This is a lot of pressure and a lot of studying which is a lot different than when you’re in high school.

Because it is so different, this also means that you were going to have to spend more time studying.

Learning how to study is the biggest part of college. You cannot get through college without studying as you may have in high school.

Believe it or not, they’re actually good and bad ways for every person to study.

You need to figure out the best way for you to memorize taken and actually learn things. Another difference in college is that there are a lot of things that you cannot just memorize.

A lot of classes focus on the overall picture and actually understanding something. This means that if you just study to memorize things you could possibly fail the exam. The difference in college is that there are a lot of things that you cannot just memorize.

Because of the importance of finals and exams you need to realize that the week that you have exams and finals you need to put a lot of time away for studying. This would be an example of one of the weeks where you might have to skip a fun Friday night or a dinner with your friends in order to get the grades that you need.

This does not mean to do so every week only when you have a test of this much importance.

You Only Have Four Years

What is important to remember is that you only have four years at this amazing university. This means that you only have four years to make the memories of all of the amazing people that are together in one place.

One day, you are really going to miss all these memories and realize that you were having the best time of your life.

You don’t want to take all of this for granted.

If you have been studying for five hours and you feel pretty confident, then don’t be afraid to accept the dinner invite from your friends. Someday you will not be able to have these dinners and have fun with your friends. Obviously, I’m only saying to do that if you do feel prepared.

Some of the biggest mistakes my friends had made their first year were that they spent too much time studying and not enough time having fun and making friends.

When you do not have any friends and you’re not having any fun, your college experience may not be great. If your college experience is bad you might I think about transferring or going back home.

Basically the friends and the memories that you make really do have a huge impact on your overall college experience. So it’s really important for you to find the balance between doing very well in school and making the memories that you deserve to make.

You are spending so much money on your education and your time at the school that you want to make sure that you take advantage of that. This means not only hang out with people but taking advantage of the opportunities that your school provides for you.

Surround Yourself with People who Push You

Something that I have learned a lot from my time in college, is that who you surround yourself with really has a big impact on you. If you surround yourself with people who are high achievers and are really trying to do well in school and have great careers, then it will really push you to do so as well.

The best thing that I did was surround myself with people who push me to be better. If all of my friends went to the library or were in a common area studying, it really pushed me to work as hard as I possibly could.

If you are someone who does need to study, having a bunch of friends who also need to study will really help you as well. If you were the only one in your friend group who is always studying it may be tempting to not study as much as you need to.

If you were the only one in your friend group who is always studying, it may be tempting to not study as much as you need to. Although you are in complete control of yourself and your entire education relies on you and no one else, it really does help to have high achieving people surrounding you.

This is why it is also good to find some friends in your actual major so that you can work on specific classes with other people taking them. Surrounding yourself with people who are doing the same thing as you can really help.

This can help you see opportunities that you may be would have not seen before and it also helps you do better in classes that you may be struggling with.

This also gives you the opportunity to help others and see what your future colleagues and bosses may be like. For all, you know you could possibly be working with one of these people one day.

It is important to understand, however, that everyone studies differently and everyone needs to study a different amount of time. It may take a lot more for you than others and that’s OK! As long as you’re doing your best for your own education that is the most you can do.

Don’t get discouraged if somebody gets a better grade than you even though they didn’t study as much because everyone’s brains work differently and everyone is good at different things. This is something that you will really come to realize in college.


Overall balancing a social life and college is something that can really help you throughout the rest of your life. If you are able to successfully tackle this you will be able to tackle anything in your future while living a successful life and having fun with your friends.

Just make sure that you don’t overwork yourself too much and don’t worry by the second semester you will have everything figured out. I hope this makes you excited for the next four years of your life because you’re going to make so many memories that will last you a lifetime.

Recent Posts