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Hindi words of the week:

  • Padhai (pa-dha-ee) – to study
  • सोना Sona (so-na) – to sleep

My brother-in-law gave me some advice a long time ago. He said, “There’s three things you can do in school: sleep, socialize, and study. ‘Socializing’ in this context just means anything you do for fun. Pick two.” Then he gave me the look – you guys know the one – when someone older than you is trying to let you know that what they’re saying is important. That was great advice and in the years since, I’ve learned to actually follow it.

I’ve used it to structure my adult life to a degree. Of course, life is more complicated and I have plenty of other things in that equation, but most people have at least these three. Personally, I can add babysitting any of my 5 nieces and nephews, all the family events (so many), and all the family friends’ events (there’s really too many to count). I’ve got plenty more but I don’t think I need to keep the list going; you get the idea, right? Anyhow, there’s only 24 hours in the day and unless you have some magical superpowers, you probably sleep every day. That means on any given day you can pick one or two of the other things in your equation. You could potentially pick three, and if you are this kind of person, give me notes. I need advice on how to Beast Mode like you; I found two to be my magical number.

So how do you pick which ones to do? Well, as humans, we are social creatures, so don’t isolate yourself! At the same time, we are mostly students. Being a student comes with responsibilities like attendance and homework. Many of us have jobs and families that take up substantial amounts of time as well.

I’d say relegate each activity that you don’t have to do daily or on a specific day. For example: work, school, and sleep are probably things you do daily;  you can’t avoid these. For the rest of the things, split the days. What does that leave in our general equation from earlier? It leaves socialize and study.

Well, that’s easy to divvy up, right? Why not try alternating the days or study one day completely? Use your full focus and practice the material even if you feel you’ve already mastered it. Practice makes perfect, no? Then on the next day relax the whole day. Don’t bother looking at your books, don’t bother stressing about tomorrow; treat yourself. If you have a vacation or a trip coming up and you know you won’t get much work done, double up on those study days. Make them match the number of days of socializing that you will be doing.

In time you might find that on your study days, you finish your work early. You could read ahead if you’re interested in the subject or if you are not, make the rest of the day a socializing day or a sleep day. You might be thinking to yourself, “Well on those days, I’d just chill in bed by myself and watch Netflix. What about that?” I’d like to remind you that it comes under the term “socializing” in this situation. Remember, my brother-in-law told me that in this context it means anything you do for pleasure.

Just remember to keep it balanced, which is a tough life skill to master; I’m still working on it myself. Too much of any one thing can be bad. Too many socializing days and you risk falling behind in your classes. On the other hand too many study days and you might burn out early in the semester. Test the waters. Find a rhythm, rhyme or pattern that works for you and follow it.

Om Tiwari

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Balance in everything – that’s what counts. I think for most college students, sleep is likely the lowest on the totem pole and study/socialize often indicates the outcome of the student’s success. Too much of either isn’t healthy, but too much of socialize almost always means failure academically. Great you have such a large action packed family – these diversions are really important to a student’s mental health as well and helps one to focus and make the most of their study time.

  2. Hey Om, this is really important for students to have a balanced life! I know I know, you’re probably thinking, Kaila… it’s one thing to say but another thing to do. Overall your post is super relatable and straight to the point. I agree that having too much of one thing is bad and that prioritizing is key to success. Keep it up! Looking forward to your next posts.

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