Some college students find balancing studying and socializing difficult. Setting aside four days for classwork and three days for socializing is a good start to achieving this balance. WOHANI/FLICKR CC BY 2.0

Many college freshmen start out their college experience taking full advantage of all of their new opportunities and freedoms. They often go to college and party hard for a few weeks, but then they start to fall behind in class before realizing they should probably buckle down and hit the books. Many people think it’s impossible to get good grades and maintain a decent social life in college. However, there is a way to accomplish both and still make the most out of the college years.

When I first began my college experience, I had to figure out the best way for me to do well academically. Before starting my first semester, my mom and I talked about ways to prioritize studying while still having fun. We decided that devoting more than half the week to my studies and the rest of the week to the social aspect of college would be the most efficient way to achieve both.

The 4:3 ratio we came up with says that the best way to do well in college and have fun at the same time is to devote four days a week to studying and homework, and the other three days to socializing and going out with friends. It’s important to spend more than half of your week studying because once you add a fourth day to the social end of the spectrum, there is more risk of falling behind in your classes and schoolwork. On the other hand, not giving yourself enough time to go out, socialize or get involved in other on-campus clubs and activities can potentially leave you feeling miserable. This can cause a social barrier in regard to making friends and being involved in the campus community.

Students need to find an adequate amount of time to devote to studying, sleeping and socializing during one’s college experience. From my experience thus far, I have discovered that when I prioritize studying and get my work done before focusing on other aspects of college life, pulling all-nighters is unnecessary. This leaves me with a sufficient amount of time to sleep at night, and it allows me to devote my free time on the weekends to relaxing and going out with friends. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of the 4:3 ratio.

I found it to be most efficient when I study and focus on school for four days straight, instead of scattering social time and studying throughout the week, because it forces me to focus solely on my work for a few days to get done what I need to get done. I typically have three days a week to enjoy myself and go watch a game on campus or hang out with friends, without having to worry about finishing an assignment in time for the deadline. This method also allows me to work out at the Campus Recreation Center and make money at my off-campus job while still getting my school work done and enjoying college life.

This concept is also beneficial to those who might not party much or are involved in clubs and extracurriculars on campus. Getting your work done in those four days will allow you to give your full attention in the next three to hanging out with friends, attending club events and catching up on sleep.

While going out may seem more appealing now, the extra studying and the hard work will be worth it in the long run. College is a place for students to discover who they are, and what they aspire to do in life while making new lifelong friends and making memories that will last a lifetime. However, it is up to the students to find their own balance.

It’s a lot more enjoyable to go out and participate in other student activities when you don’t have to worry about getting home to finish an assignment and submit it by 11:59. Getting as much done as you can in four days allows for a relatively stress-free and relaxing three days where you can enjoy yourself and hang out with your friends.