Maintaining Balance Throughout the Semester
Learning Hub Ambassadors from the Learning Resources Center are here to help students figure out a work/school-life balance.Sep 1, 2023
As the sun-soaked days of summer gradually give way to the cool embrace of autumn, CU Denver comes alive once again with the bustling energy of students returning from their well-deserved break. For many, the transition from lazy days by the beach to hitting the books can be a challenging one. However, fear not! LRC Learning Hub Ambassadors are here as your trusty compass, guiding you through the maze of returning to studies after a rejuvenating summer hiatus while emphasizing the importance of wellness and achieving a harmonious work/school-life balance.
- Mindset Matters: One of the keys to a successful return is cultivating a positive mindset. Instead of dreading the end of vacation, embrace the opportunity to learn and grow. Reflect on your goals for the semester and envision the accomplishments that await you. University is a world of passions, and you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in yours once again!
- Plan and Prioritize: Begin by organizing your academic calendar and plotting out important dates such as exams, project deadlines, and class schedules. Use digital tools or a physical planner to keep track of your commitments, ensuring that no task catches you off guard. If you’re visually oriented, you can really get extra pockets of motivation as you start to cross off items on your ‘To-Do’s. The LRC has amazing Academic Learning Specialists who can assist you with workshops or individual coaching sessions.
- Healthy Habits for a Strong Start: Reestablishing a routine is essential. Prioritize sleep, maintain a balanced diet, and engage in regular exercise. These habits not only fuel your body but also enhance your mental clarity and focus. The Wellness Center has resources for students to familiarize themselves with and ultimately internalize said healthy habits!
- Revive Your Study Space: Dust off your study area and infuse it with fresh energy. A clutter-free and inspiring environment can significantly boost your productivity and motivation. Add personal touches like plants, motivational quotes, or artwork to make the space uniquely yours. Experimenting with decorating doesn’t just get the creative juices flowing but can be a nice stress-reliever in between everyday obligations and responsibilities!
- Set Realistic Goals: Break down your academic objectives into smaller, manageable goals. Tackling your studies in bite-sized pieces makes the workload feel less overwhelming and keeps you motivated as you celebrate each accomplishment.
- Engage Actively in Classes: Attending lectures and actively participating in discussions not only enriches your understanding but also fosters a sense of connection with your peers and professors. Remember, you're part of a community of learners.
- Utilize Campus Resources: CU Denver’s Learning Resources Center offers an array of support services, from tutoring to workshops. Additionally, browse other campus departments for support including counseling, career help, and general support. It’s your tuition, so take advantage of these resources to enhance your academic skills and manage a better school/life balance effectively. It can seem intimidating at first if you’ve never dropped by before, especially for newer students, but the faculty, pro staff, and student staff who keep these departments running are specifically there to help you problem-solve and grow.
- Embrace Breaks: Burnout is a real concern, so be sure to schedule short breaks during study sessions. Step outside, breathe in the fresh Colorado air, or engage in a quick mindfulness exercise to recharge your mental batteries. In the long-term, it’s always healthier to take care of yourself before problems start versus waiting out a cold while you have a midterm due and so on and so forth.
- Socialize and Connect: While academics are crucial, maintaining a social life is equally important. Spend time with friends, join clubs, and participate in campus events to create a well-rounded college experience. The Block Party and Fall Fest are two of the semester's biggest social events... be sure to take part and have FUN!
- Practice Self-Compassion: Lastly, remember that nobody is perfect. If you encounter challenges or setbacks, be kind to yourself. Perfection is not the goal—growth and progress are. It is always important to acknowledge that you are not the only one struggling, most people are to some degree. Give yourself the same patience you would treat your friends and colleagues who are in the same spot as you.
As you embark on this academic journey after your summer break, keep in mind that achieving a balance between your studies and overall well-being is essential for long-term success. By adopting a positive mindset, setting achievable goals, and embracing healthy habits, you will find yourself navigating this transition with confidence and grace. Here's to a successful and fulfilling semester ahead!