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What's the best ways to balance study/social life?

  1. Dec 26, 2014 #1
    I have been struggling to balance my study social life for a while now, when i study for instance i often overdo it doing like 5 hours after school this really accelerates my learning but leaves me feeling slightly depressed, stressed and overworked. However the opposite occurs when i try to focus on my social health i feel healthier and happier but there is a lot of ambition i don't fill so I start to get upset and angry at myself. This is very paradoxical i understand but it still keeps happening is there any recommendations i could use to achieve a better balance??
     
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  3. Dec 27, 2014 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    One thought is to consider whether you have "addictive behavior". If you do something enjoyable, do you have a powerful urge to keep doing it? ( e.g Wow,! It was satisfying to figure that concept out. I want to read the next chapter. Or: That was a fun conversation; let's go hang out at another place.)
     
  4. Dec 27, 2014 #3

    WWGD

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    How about joining some study groups, so you can mix socializing and studying? Not a full answer, but it may help.
     
  5. Dec 27, 2014 #4
    I am reading books of Sun Tsu i.e the art of war. I save 4 hours per day for outdoor activities like gym, swimming, shopping and sex.
     
  6. Dec 27, 2014 #5
    Excellent idea!
     
  7. Dec 27, 2014 #6

    WWGD

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    Thanks, just be careful not to have too many people in it, or you will end up with a small party.
     
  8. Dec 27, 2014 #7
    Yes that is highly likely. Do you have any ideas about how to work around that?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2014
  9. Dec 27, 2014 #8

    Stephen Tashi

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    Just being aware of addictive behavior helps. For example, if rational thinking tells you to begin studying at 8 PM and finish at 10 PM, you can promise a friend that you will call them at 10 PM or meet them at 10:30 PM. When you start to study at 8 PM, you can begin by reviewing some topic that gave you great satisfication to understand.

    There are disagreeable (or at least neutral ) aspects to study, social life, and household chores. If you have addictive behavior then you may have strong aversions. A person who likes to be thorough has a hard time doing simple things in increments - for example, taking out half the garbage or vacuuming 1/3 of the hallway. If you overcome an aversion to doing things in bits and pieces, you can make better use of time. For example, if you have 15 minutes free, you can start writing an email, or start emptying the wastebaskets. If a task is unpleasant or neutral, it has less effect on you if you do it in small increments - instead of thinking about the whole thing over and over before you start.
     
  10. Dec 27, 2014 #9

    Choppy

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    Work/study and social life are a balance that everyone has to tackle their own way. And you're not alone in not necessarily getting the perfect, optimum balance. We all have competing demands to tend with. Here's some stuff that helps me...

    1. Take care of yourself first. By this I mean eat right, get sufficient exercise, and get sufficient sleep. These are the aspects of your health that you can control and when they're off, your life is like a house on an unstable foundation that can come crashing down at any minute. Eating a crappy diet can make you lethargic in class. This leads to falling asleep in lectures, which leads to poor retention of material, which leads to greater effort needed outside of class to learn the material, which is even harder when you're lethargic. This can also help to fund off bugs and/or conditions like depression.

    2. Learn to recognize and define quality social time and try as much as possible to increase the quality stuff and decrease the meaningless stuff. By meaningless stuff I mean things like watching television you didn't want to watch, attending parties that you really don't care to go to, or spending time with "social vampires" who stress you out or cause you to spend a lot of energy dealing with drama that you really don't need in your life.

    3. Time management. There's a lot to know about doing this effectively, and I think it's an art that you can never get quite perfect. There will always be issues that you can't account for that crop up. But it pays to learn about setting priorities and goals. It pays to schedule in specific down time and personal reading time. It pays to keep on top of assignments and studying for exams in a systematic manner.

    4. It's okay not to be all things to all people.
     
  11. Dec 28, 2014 #10

    WWGD

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    I know this may sound far-out , but it also helps if you train yourself to understand monitor and manage your internal mental and emotional states. It takes some training, but I have found it to be very helpful over the long run. By this , I mean , evaluating how you are feeling and understanding why , and then doing what is necessary to get yourself into the mood you want. I see it as a mental/emotional version of the show Burn Notice ( a great show, BTW ).
     
  12. Dec 28, 2014 #11

    Stephen Tashi

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    Speaking of that, I found this video about aversions interesting:
     
  13. Dec 28, 2014 #12
    Have you considered that you maybe don't like your major? That's the first thing I would want to reflect on since I was in a similar situation when I first came to college (wanted to be an arts major..ended up in engineering, ha). If you want to do it but at the same time don't feel any drive, it might be that you're just not happy with it. I don't mean that that's a sure thing since everyone has motivation trouble sometimes, but it's something I'd at least recommend considering.

    Learning to balance is really just something you have to learn to do...you can't have it all. Some of the basic "work/life balance" tips you'll always hear:

    -Do your homework early like on Friday afternoon so your weekends are free and you don't need to feel guilty about going out and having fun. You'll have to work in one of those long stretches you dislike, but you'll feel better about yourself during the weekend. Doing your work in a structured and deliberate way is better for you than just sitting down and grinding wherever necessary. You'll avoid the feeling that you're not on top of your work, and you'll also do better. Research on orchestral musicians has found that quality of practice matters more than raw duration, similar concepts apply to learning other material. An hour or two of deliberate, structured, and thoughtful studying will take you much further than 5 or 6 hours of mindlessly doing problem drills. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images...f/DeliberatePractice(PsychologicalReview).pdf (I think this is it).

    -Be careful with alcohol and stay the hell away from other drugs. Drinking messes with your sleep even if you're not getting black-out wasted and it also makes you gain weight, and even "soft" drugs like weed will get you mixed with some bad influences if your college is anything like mine. Plus it's illegal and a criminal record will not help you at all. Speaking of:

    -You are who you associate with, and not all people have your best interests at heart. Students who do well in school and have constructive behaviors will make you feel pressure (in a good way, of course) to do well. Students with less productive habits will also influence your behavior. So put yourself in a position to have those more positive influences. I would recommend joining a school club or a good fraternity with strong academic standards (obviously the stereotypes aren't entirely without merit so be careful).

    I second this, right down to Burn Notice being an awesome show. You need to be in touch with how you're doing, and keeping that inner monologue going can help.
     
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