The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Balancing Academics and Health: Tips for College Students

Photo by Ivan Samkov

College life can be both exhilarating and challenging. For many students, it marks the beginning of newfound independence and exciting experiences. Yet it comes with immense pressure to balance academics and have a thriving social life. Striking this balance proves difficult. This is common when pursuing demanding courses such as the online accelerated BSN nursing degree. Yet, it’s possible. We’ll explore tips and strategies to manage academic responsibilities. These tips will also help in pursuit of prioritizing physical and mental health.

Time Management

A key skill for college students is effective time management. Balancing academics and health starts with having a well-structured schedule. You can try out the following strategies to utilize your time better:

  • Create a study timetable: Allocate specific hours for studying. This includes attending classes, and completing assignments. This will take pressure off your shoulders during midterms and finals.
  • Set realistic goals: Be honest with yourself about how much you can do in a day. You don’t have to push yourself to the breaking point to realize your goals.
  • Prioritize tasks: Start your day by handling the most important tasks. This ensures you complete high-priority assignments and have time for self-care.
  • Utilize productivity tools: There’s no shortage of apps and tools for productivity. They can help you organize and prioritize tasks to manage time. Consider using tools like Google Calendar, Todoist, or Trello to stay organized.

Create a Support System

The college experience is better when you have a solid network. Building a support system can significantly contribute to your well-being. You can create meaningful connections in college through the following:

  • Connect with peers: Develop friendships and connections with fellow students. They are essential for emotional support and sharing study tips.
  • Seek academic support: Many colleges offer academic resources, such as tutoring centers. 
  • Talk to professors and counselors: When the coursework is overwhelming, communicate with your professors. They can provide guidance and might offer extensions if you’re facing difficulties. You can also reach out to faculty counselors for more guidance.

Exercise Regularly

Being physically active is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can boost your energy. It also helps with concentration. As a busy college student, you can maintain an exercise routine through the following.

Find a fitness routine you enjoy. Whether it’s yoga, running, dancing, or weightlifting, choose activities that you genuinely enjoy. Most colleges offer fitness centers. They also have access to nearby gyms at discounted rates for students. This makes it easier to stick to a regular exercise schedule.

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You should also strive to incorporate physical activity into your day. Walking or biking to classes, taking the stairs, and quick exercise breaks can help you to stay active. To ensure you don’t fall off, set achievable fitness goals. Setting fitness goals and tracking your achievements can help you hit your target.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for your health. It aids in memory consolidation, problem-solving, and overall cognitive function. Poor sleep quality can lead to decreased focus and academic performance. Here’s how you can ensure you get enough rest:

  • Create a healthy sleep routine:  Ensure you set and stick to a regular bedtime, preferably early in the night. This can help reduce fatigue and get you energized for the day. 
  • Create a suitable environment for sleep: Calibrate your room’s environment to the perfect conditions for sleep. Items such as blackout curtains and earplugs can help you fall asleep much better.
  • Avoid late-night screen time: Reduce or completely avoid screens before going to bed.
  • Nap strategically: Short power naps can boost your energy. All the same, you should avoid long naps during the day. They can disrupt your nighttime sleep schedule.

Manage Stress

The numerous assignments to the adult interactions required can make college stressful. While most of these requirements are unavoidable, you don’t have to carry their stress burdens. Stress management techniques such as practicing mindfulness can help you with this. 

It’s essential to set boundaries and avoid overcommitting. Don’t be afraid to decline additional responsibilities if they’re impacting your well-being.

When faced with a daunting assignment or project, break it into smaller parts. Manageable bit size tasks reduce pressure. Short breaks during study sessions can help you relax and recharge. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique to structure your study intervals.


Balancing academics and health in college is a crucial process. It’s the key to success in lifestyle and lays a great foundation for life. As such, you must take care of your health while pursuing academic access. By applying these tips, you inch closer to having a fulfilling college experience.

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