How to Have Fun in College (Without Hurting Your Grades)

College is a great time to meet people and enjoy your newfound freedom. If social life is important to you, be sure to check out the best college campuses for student life before you send out your applications. However, too much partying can have disastrous consequences for your academic results. Here are some guidelines to ensure that you can have fun in college without affecting your grades.

What You Should Do

Make a Schedule

The key to making sure that you have enough time to play hard and study hard is to make a schedule. Add the non-negotiable items such as classes, work, and sleep first so that you have a clear idea of how much time you have left. Then, be sure to allocate at least an hour a day for social activities and an hour a day for self-care and relaxation activities such as exercise, meditation, or just listening to music. A balanced lifestyle helps you to manage stress and improve your academic performance.

Live with Friends

Living in a dormitory or a Greek house is a great way to socialize without having to leave your accommodation—which saves money too! When you live in a student house, you foster close friendships with your housemates and learn how to interact with others as an independent adult. If schoolwork becomes a struggle, you can always turn to your housemates for support and someone to talk to. And if you want to do something other than study, there is always a movie night or cook-off going on.

Join a Club

Even if you do not stay on-campus, there are many ways to get involved in the activities and events around your college. Joining a club will put you in touch with people who share your interests. Since you like the same things, there is always something to talk about. There are clubs for all sorts of interests from conservation to cybernetics. Some of the clubs in your college may be formal clubs organized by the school but there will also be many casual clubs that are formed by students. Ask around in your first few weeks or check social media to find clubs that may interest you.

Be Active

Just because you do not qualify for your college sports team does not mean that you cannot enjoy play sports while you are in college. There are numerous sports clubs for people who love recreational sports such as basketball or volleyball. If your college campus has facilities such as climbing walls, swimming pools, and gyms, make the most of your tuition fees by using them as much as possible. Regular exercise can relieve stress, help you focus, and allow you to meet new friends. As a bonus, your active lifestyle will keep you in great shape.

Take a Trip

Why not plan a trip with your friends when you have a few days off? A change of environment can refresh your perspective and help you to forget your academic stress. Discuss ideas with your friends and make plans together. Sometimes, there may be fun places to explore just around your campus. For instance, a national park or a nearby beach that you could camp at. Or you could head into the heart of the city and enjoy a day shopping or visiting the museums and galleries.

What You Should Not Do

Sacrifice Your Sleep

You need to have enough sleep to think clearly and retain what you study. Sleep is central to our physical and mental function and you should aim for a solid eight hours a night. Although you may feel fine after the occasional late night, you run the risk of dosing off in class or affecting your health in the long run. Therefore, if you feel tired or have an early start the next day, be responsible and stay home instead of going out.

Skip Classes

It is easy to convince yourself that skipping one class will not make a massive difference, especially after a night out. However, skipping can quickly become a habit. Before you know it, you will be far behind your classmates. You may even find that you spend more time trying to catch up than you would have spent just showing up to class. Treat your classes with respect and only miss them when you absolutely have to.

Party Too Hard

Peer pressure is intense in college. You may find yourself being encouraged to take drugs or binge drink. While it can be liberating to consume some alcohol, it is not fun at all when you go too far. Vomiting, losing control, and passing out are neither healthy nor attractive. Bad substance abuse habits can follow you from college through to adulthood. Learn how to assert your boundaries and avoid anything illegal or harmful to your health.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy your youth during your college years. As long as you stick to good, clean fun and take care not to neglect your studies, you can make lasting friendships and memories that you will cherish for life.