As Hopkins students, we are all extremely busy. It seems like every week there’s a new quiz, test or 10-page assignment looming over our shoulders. As a result, skipping meals and pulling all-nighters have become normalized under the “grind” mindset. While it might feel necessary — believe me, I know — creating the right study habits for a good work-life balance is essential.
To help you do so, I spoke with students who I believe have a better work-life balance than myself, and I’m here to share their wisdom with you. While some of these may seem obvious or even repetitive, these little changes can have a tremendously positive effect on your life!
Taking a few moments out of your day to plan ahead or establishing daily routines can help reduce stress and create an overall healthy lifestyle.
In an interview with The News-Letter, Running Club Co-Captain Jeremy Telezing, shared how Running Club helps him create healthy routines.
“Running club has not only kept me in great physical shape but has done wonders for my mental health and self-discipline,” he said. “With daily practices as early as 6:30 a.m., I’ve been able to start most of my days productively and allow this productivity to snowball into the rest of my day.”
Of course, getting up at 6:30 a.m. isn’t for everyone — including myself — but establishing a routine that works for your needs will hold you accountable. If you know that you can’t trust yourself to do so, then try to set shared goals with a friend.
Believe it or not, working day and night is not the most effective method to get your assignments done. If you’re anything like me, the second you find a chunk of time in your schedule, you rush to find the next thing to fill it. I’ll be the first to say… it’s toxic.
There have been times in my life when I would take five-minute naps in between assignments because I didn’t think I could afford any more time to rest. It took me years to understand that giving my body adequate time to rest yields a better and more fruitful result.
Now, I’ll opt for a midday nap, an outdoor walk or watching a short episode of television to take my mind off of what I’m doing. By giving yourself small breaks throughout the day you’ll refresh your mind to have a much more productive day.
Making mental health a priority
As a college student, there will be times you may feel overwhelmed, struggle with your mental health and need extra support. In these times, “pushing through” is not always the answer. It is important to pause and try to address why you are feeling this way. On the Homewood Campus, we are lucky to have access to many mental health resources including counseling and A Place to Talk.
These resources are not limited to the Homewood Campus or undergraduate students. One notable organization, the Mental Health Graduate Student Network (MhGN), serves as a resource for our graduate student community.
In an email to The News-Letter, MhGn’s Co-President Michael Imai highlighted how joining MhGN has improved his mental health.
“I would say that above all else, it gives me purpose. For me, purpose fights my depression. It’s my goal to advocate for individuals, like myself, who have struggled finding support or connecting with resources for mental health,” Imai wrote. “We are all working toward the same goal: to improve the well-being of all students.”
Be kind to yourself
Procrastination is a disease. There, I said it. While waiting until the last minute to finish work might have become habit, please, I’ll beg you, leave that in high school. Regardless of when you do it, the workload is still there. It feels so much better to confidently submit an assignment rather than worry if it’s due at 11:59 p.m. or midnight.
Junior Tade Ogunmodede shared a famous French quote in an interview with The News-Letter: “Petit à petit l’oiseau fait la nid,”’ or “Bit by bit, the bird makes its nest.”
Essentially, things take time so make sure you account for it. Leaving things to the last minute can only harm you. It can be hard working when the deadline seems so far away but think about the future you — think about the 11:58 p.m. you.
If these don’t work for you, find something that does. The most important thing is to customize your study habits so that you feel like the best version of yourself. Remember: You are capable, you are smart and you will achieve.