How to Survive and Thrive as a College Student

As college students, one skill that is completely necessary to succeed and keep our sanity is juggling. Yes, juggling.

I am not talking about learning how to throw knives or little plastic balls around in a circle above your head. No, I am talking about juggling this crazy little thing called life.


College means that you have a full plate of things to get done. If you are on a sports team juggling practices, games and lifting can get a little overwhelming. If you are in a club or organization you need to juggle group meetings, events, etc.

For me, I juggle two jobs, a boyfriend and a full course load of homework and classes. Some days it seems like something is always getting the short end of the stick. Whether it be realizing that I haven’t had a real, face-to-face conversation with my boyfriend the whole week, or I forgot to study for that quiz or test, something always gets forgotten or put at the bottom of my list.

I have compiled a small list of things that have helped me juggle, but don’t get confused! I am still figuring this out as I go, just like the rest of us.

1)   Back to the necessities!

If you are like me, you say yes to things without even considering the consequences (or ramifications). Yes to another job, yes to hanging out with friends when you have homework, yes to helping out a friend moving, etc.!

Last semester, I had three jobs to juggle…yes three. Every night I found myself so stressed about the things that I wasn’t getting done that I had to make a change. I chose the two jobs that I liked the most and said sayonara to the other. I also asked for a lighter work schedule (20 hours a week versus 30+), which helped a lot. The truth is, work will always be there, but you only live once! It isn’t worth it to take on too much.

This brings me to my second tip:

2)   Get a daybook or planner and get organized!

In order to be organized, I keep a detailed schedule of when and where I am working each day and all of my homework and assignments. Some people make fun of me for color-coding it and checking it every day, but without it, I wouldn’t be able to keep track of anything!


My work schedule changes every week and I frequently work weekends, so it’s important for me to know when I have “free time” to complete assignments or focus on friends and my relationship. Every week, I know when I need to devote my time to what, which helps keep things from not getting done.

3)   Give yourself free time and enjoy the little things

To be honest, one of the things that I enjoy every day is to take five minutes and get a bagel with cream cheese from the Bistro in Gordon Science Center and relax. That little time to myself allows me to clear my head and not think of school, assignments or work.

Whether it is grabbing a milkshake from Voss on Fridays or turning off your phone and watching a movie in your room every Monday, find something that helps you relax and clear your head.

BTW…I would love my “me time” to be watching a movie or getting my nails done, but I just don’t have the time. With 6 or 7 day work weeks, I try to find something that I can do every day that I enjoy and my time, and budget, allows.

4)   Relationships need time, so be creative!

It is no secret that when you are in a relationship, you have to spend time with that person for the relationship to be successful. When you have a very busy schedule and are constantly juggling, finding time with your special someone has to get creative.

My boyfriend and I try to squeeze in any time together as possible. This means going over to his house after work for an hour or so after my shift that ends at 10 p.m. or going on the infamous “Library Dates”.  These, by no means AT ALL, replace a nice day trip or night out, but with crazy schedules, they help us get through until our days off.


My suggestion is to find something that you both like to do, doesn’t require a lot of time or money, and allows both of you to actually enjoy each others company. My boyfriend and I love to grab dinner to go and eat at the train station in downtown Utica. We sit, talk, eat and place bets on when the next train is set to go by. I know it sounds boring, but when you have a great person to be with like I do, any time is a great time.

(DISCLAIMER: I hereby officially call dibs on the train station as our date night spot. Even though it is a public place, it is officially known as “Our Spot” and cannot be taken by any other couple. Sorry, not sorry J) .

Do you have any ideas on how to juggle life as a college student, I would love to hear them! Comment below with suggestions, questions, etc….and happy j