Heading off to college for the first time, away from home, will offer students a variety of challenges, not the least of which will be how to balance studying and partying. Far too few young adults consider this to be a major dilemma and, unfortunately, not enough parents or education staff think this is a topic worth discussing with their children. The fact is, however, that the right balance of studying and partying can bring success to the young college career while the wrong one can end up in disaster.
The welcome week on most college campuses will be fraught with a host of parties, orientations, tours, gatherings, and opportunities to meet and make new friends. It’s a time to celebrate the beginning of the next stage in life for these students, to learn how to deal with being away from home, no longer under the rules of their parents, and to shift into the responsible adult life that awaits them. Yet this first week is also when most students will either learn the balance between studying and partying or fall into a common trap of too much freedom.
Freedom is a good thing for anyone. There is no doubt and it should not be questioned. Most college campus dorms have an R.A., or ‘Resident Assistant’ on each floor to help new students cope with their newfound liberty, and to create that balance. However, most R.A.s are merely students themselves. So, while their advice and direction will most likely be pertinent and well-intentioned, it doesn’t guarantee that the students will learn the importance of balancing studying and partying.
Parties are fun. They are a fantastic way to meet new friends, find common interests, and to simply ‘blow off steam,’ from the stressful week of classes. Most of the time, parties are generally intended to fall on the weekends, when classes are not in session. As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, however, more and more classes are being held on Saturdays.
When considering whether to attend a party or, if there are many invites to different events, which one to attend, a student should consider the class work and schedule they face in the coming week. Fridays and Saturdays are the best time to attend parties, but if the student has a class early on a Saturday morning, then they could consider either not attending a Friday night gathering or leaving early. Semesters move quickly and falling behind by one week can make it exceedingly difficult to catch up.
Also, the student should determine how much homework he or she is facing in the coming days. Since most parties extend late into the night, odds are that the student will sleep in, losing a part of the following day. The art of balancing studying and partying is knowing how well he or she works and how long it will take them to finish their assignments.
If a student notices that their friends are attending parties or other social functions during several nights throughout the week, he or she may be best suited to consider not accepting the invitations or seeking out a different, more studious group of friends with whom to associate.
College isn’t a right and with the wrong balance of studying and partying, any student could potentially find themselves at the end of the semester with grades too low to allow them to return. There’s no excuse for not finding that right balance of studying and partying from the very beginning of the academic career.