Balancing School, Relationships, Work, and Life….

Photo: Stuart Miles

While many aspects of college life are made easier by factors such as technology, the basic structure hasn’t changed. Students still face the same hurdles and challenges today as they did twenty years ago. Being away from home for the first time, large course loads and socializing are still a part of collegiate life.One issue many students face is how to balance a new or long-term relationship with college. There’s no one answer, as college students today are very diverse. There are middle-aged students, single-parent students, and students working while attending school. That being said, here are a few tips and tricks that will help you maintain decent grades while enjoying a healthy social life and maintaining your relationship.

The first thing to do is get the idea of “juggling” a relationship with school out of your head. According to work-life expert Dawn Carlson, juggling is a coping mechanism that isn’t efficient or effective. It’s not practical to run around trying to put out various fires when other tactics are far more effective.

Instead of juggling try alternating. That means setting aside certain amounts of time for certain things. Set your course schedule so you are only in class a certain number of days a week. That will leave free days, which you can break up into units of time for things like studying, work and spending time with your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you are in a new relationship it may be difficult, as the natural inclination is to spend every waking moment with your significant other. But dividing your time carefully is the best way to ensure you get the most time possible with that person while still fulfilling your academic obligations.

Outsourcing your responsibilities is another effective way to maximize free time. If there is anyone in your personal life who can help take the burden off, think about taking advantage of it. For example, have a family member help with personal things, such as laundry. Or it could mean having a friend run errands for you while they’re out (if they’re up for it).

One of the best ways to ensure you have the most time with your significant other is by bundling your responsibilities with theirs. This is most effective when both people in the relationship are in the same school. In these instances the couple can study together, go on school outings, and even take classes together. If both people are in the same school, it’s possible to spend the majority of their time together and still maintain good grades.

Long distance relationships are much more difficult, for obvious reasons. Because of the distance between the two people, and the fact that they are each building a new social life in different environments, many of these relationships don’t work out. However, as long as both parties have a strong, mutual desire to make the relationship work, there’s no reason it can’t. Communication is key and in today’s technological age it’s never been easier to stay in touch with the one you love. Communication via email, Skype, social networking sites and instant messaging can ensure a couple is able to maintain regular communication, even when apart.


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1 Comment

  • i have read so many blogs and articles about relationships and school. not one describes the person who is writing the blog or article own trials and tribulations on this subject. i am on the verge of quitting school again because of time, importanceand value of school versus relationship. being in a 10 yr relationship has made our roles nearly set in stone. altering them now that i am going to school has caused havoc, arguments, and lots and lots of problems. it has come to either quitting school, even though i know it would be better in the long run if i stay, to save our relationship, or choosing school and ending a 10 year run. i love him and he is why i went back to school but fighting every day for last months sucks. i rather be in a dead end job and keep our relationship the way it was, happy, than go to school and lose my man. anyone in the same boat, please send an email my way at

    Comment by mary — January 30, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

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