Circus act: How to juggle everything in college

For the record, I can’t juggle to save my life…


Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Morgan Nimmons, Contributing Writer

Spoiler alert, this article WILL NOT teach you how to juggle bowling pins – I’m sorry. But it will teach you how to “juggle” college and work with your personal life.

Since I’m a senior graduating in less than two months, it’s safe to say that I have an idea of what I’m talking about when it comes to being able to balance home life with work and school. You don’t believe me?

Take a stab at my list of tips on how to go to school, work and still have time for yourself and your family and friends. Then we’ll see if I’m just a know-it-all that has the nerve to call themselves an expert because they are a soon-to-be college grad that survived the hurdles and obstacles called university life – a title that I rightfully deserve, if I do say so myself.

  1. Begin with assignments that will take you longer to complete

Which assignment do you think would take up more of your time? A homework assignment that asks you to list three reasons why you love FAU or studying for that 100-question business law exam? (For the record, I’ve had to complete both assignments.)

Depending upon which you hate more (FAU or business law), this should (hopefully) be a no-brainer. It’s better to start assignments that will take you longer to do in case something unexpected comes up in your life, such as a family emergency or you’re asked to take an extra shift for work. If you’ve already gotten the hard stuff out of the way, all you’ll have left is an assignment that you can finish in no time at all. Plus, you’ll have more leisure time and won’t have to dread working on an assignment for a class you hate.

  1. Make a list of tasks and responsibilities

Okay. This one seems pretty obvious, but you won’t believe how many people don’t take advantage of this simple method when it comes to keeping track of their responsibilities. You don’t even have to buy one of those fancy dry erase or cork bulletin boards.

Just take a piece of paper and write down a list of things you need to do with the important tasks at the top, whether that be to remember to finish your research paper for English, clean your room (who has the time to clean their room anymore, anyway?) or fold your socks. Simply put the list in a place where you know you’ll constantly see it, such as your desk or the refrigerator. This especially helps those who have a lot on their plate and are forgetful.

  1. Leave work at work

What I mean by this is don’t come home and vent about something bad that happened at your job to your roommates or family after being at work all day. They might sit there and listen, but in reality, no one wants to hear that noise.

You should come home and relax (after you finish all your massive amounts of homework, of course). Leave whatever drama you dealt with that day at work. This goes for thinking about work, checking your emails for work – unless you have one of those difficult supervisors that expect you to respond to their emails they send you after you’ve gone home – don’t even dream about work. Spend that time hanging out with your roommates or loved ones.

  1. Finish your assignments at school

This tip I got from a friend of mine that said he would get easily distracted when doing his homework at home. So, he did it at school instead. He also found it easier to get help from staff and other students this way.

Doing homework at school is also beneficial for those who don’t have access to adequate equipment, like a computer or printer. By doing assignments at school, you have no excuse for not getting it done (unless your friends are with you and are also a distraction. Then I can’t help you).

  1. Do tedious assignments that would otherwise seem to take forever in sections

This was one tip my mom suggested that made my life much easier when it came to extensive assignments. If your professor wants a 20-page paper on the meaning of life due in a month, only work on a few pages a day.

Trying to complete the whole assignment in one sitting is unnecessary torture and will cause you to want to give up on the assignment all together. Doing a large assignment in sections makes it seem less overwhelming and not impossible to complete.

Note: This tip will only work if you start your assignments early. If you try to complete a 20-page paper the day before it’s due, may God help you.

  1. Forget taking a nap

I’ve been guilty in the past of coming home after a long day at work and school and only wanting to take a nap. The problem with that is, I would come home at 4 p.m., take a nap until around 7 p.m. and have to be in bed by 11 p.m. so I can get up in the morning — only leaving four hours to complete my homework.

Do yourself a favor and don’t screw yourself over by taking an extensive nap when you get home, you’ll end up staying up trying to finish your assignments. Start your homework as soon as you get home. Go to bed early if you’re tired. (I know I will probably get some animosity for this tip because Lord knows we college students love our naps more than kindergarteners.)

Final Tip: Finish all of your work through the week so you can PAR-TAY on the weekends.

If you follow tips one through six, you can implement and enjoy this final tip. You should be able to get all of your work done during the week so you can have fun on your weekends. Just make sure to utilize some, if not all of these six simple strategies: Work on annoying (ahem … I mean harder) assignments first, make a to-do list, forget about work when you’re home, break up large assignments into sections, start early and skip the nap (sorry).

So, you don’t party. Neither do I. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take advantage of the weekend by doing the things I wanted to do during the week, such as going to the beach, hanging out with friends at the movies, spending time with family or even better, catching up on my naps (don’t judge).

Personally, I wish I had discovered these tips from the very beginning of my college career. It would have made my freshman and sophomore years far less painful. Hopefully, these tips will help out any college rookies or even those experienced students who need a little more know how to make their lives easier.