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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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How to Have a Life Outside of School

Written by Madi Werynski

Don’t get me wrong on this one—school is important. Knowing you earned an A just by working your ass off (instead of going out with friends every single night) is pretty rewarding. But when it feels like all your time and energy is being invested in your studies, that’s the opposite of rewarding. After all, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” And we all know how that ended.

Trust me; it’s crucial to balance school with everything else in your life. Here’s how you can do that.

1. Manage Your Time

If you can designate set periods of time for studying, you can allot other chunks of time for breaks, outings, hobbies, groups, or Netflix. Your brain can’t always be in working mode, and sometimes it just needs rest (you do deserve it, after all). If you’ve already put in a solid amount of study or work time, set aside a few hours here and there to do things you genuinely enjoy; the Pomodoro technique may be able to help you if you have trouble divvying up your time.

“Your brain can’t always be in working mode, and sometimes it just needs rest.”

2. Engage in Extracurriculars

One of the best ways to enhance your life is through extracurricular activities. Joining clubs, councils, and sports teams are important for several reasons: 1) they’re fun, 2) you get to learn about things you like,  and 3) they allow you to be social and network with new people. The fact that you can be productive and earn some nice resume garnish while you’re at it is the icing on the cake. So if you’re thinking extracurriculars are a waste of time, don’t. They’re a perfect blend of work and play.

3. Treat Weekends Like Holidays

No one wants to be worried about readings and homework over the weekend. If you’ve strategically managed your time throughout school days, you’ll have ample time on weekends to do as you please, whether you want to spend time with friends or chill at home. Even if you decide that last-minute Sunday studying works best for your schedule, that’s great—Friday can be all yours! Nothing wrong with that.

4. Branch Out to Others

Make friends with people outside of school, especially if you live on residence (where life is seemingly all about school). By remaining friends with people from home or befriending coworkers, you can have relationships that don’t always involve discussing classes and exams. Instead, non-classmates can nurture other areas of your life and let you take a breather from school. Having friends in your hometown is also another reason to visit! After checking in with your family and fur-babies, of course.

5. Work Hard And Play Hard

Repeat after me: “I will take ample breaks. I will not live under a rock. I deserve to enjoy myself.” Don’t just speak those words—believe them.

“ ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ And we all know how that ended.”

Sure, you could do some extra studying for a midterm. But you could also throw on a snazzy outfit and hit that one concert you’ve been wanting to attend. Your leisure time is just as important as your study time and you should treat it that way. Not to mention it feels amazing to be productive in non-scholarly areas of your life, whether that involves learning a language, socializing, or honing your scrapbooking skills. Balance is key, and keeping everything in moderation is the best way to make the most out of your life as a busy student.

I know how tough it can be to not constantly stress over school, but you owe it to yourself to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Not only will you be more content if you do, but your performance in school will probably improve because of all the decluttering you’ve done. Remember: your success begins with you, and life doesn’t have to be all about school. Make time for the things you love and I guarantee that you’ll be a happier, healthier version of you.

There are tons of ways for you to have a fulfilling life outside of the classroom; we didn’t cover every one! What do you do to step away from the stresses of school? Let us know in the comments below.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.