Learning to balance life’s obstacles in college

LaTonya Kilgore

Brittany Smith is studying on her laptop at the Paulding campus. Photo by LaTonya Kilgore
Brittany Smith is studying on her laptop at the Paulding campus. Photo by LaTonya Kilgore

Balance is a crucial life skill. As a college student, social, school and work responsibilities can become overwhelming if they are out of balance. Imbalance is a serious issue that college students are facing today, and it can cause serious side effects such as stress, anxiety and depression. One way of reducing stress, anxiety and depression is to have balance.

Tara Holdampf, Georgia Highlands’ student success counselor, says keeping balance is “a big challenge for everyone. The big subject is procrastination.” Holdampf explains that procrastination is a habit, one that can be broken. To help break the procrastination habit, first students need to recognize they are doing it. Holdampf says to be “self-reflective and honest.” Once students understand why they are trying to avoid something they can put in place strategies to overcome.

Procrastination is not the only hurdle to success for students. Holdampf provided several tips for success. “Don’t cram. Have a study plan. Study at the same time every day, at whatever time you are at your best. Start with the most dreaded or difficult task. Review your notes and avoid distractions,” she said.

With all the demands of school, work and other obligations is there time for socializing? Holdampf said, “One of the best things out of college is networking.”

She goes on to say that socializing not only helps students get a job but “research constantly points to the importance of natural supports in your life.” These supports are the friends and family that are there during the good times and bad.

Brittany Smith, a full time GHC early childhood education student and employee at a local day care, emphasized the importance of down time as well. Smith said,“
It can be overwhelming but you have to destress. Set up a couple days to relax.” Smith has succeeded in combining study time with social time, studying with her best friend.

Smith and Holdampf agree that the keys to success are not to procrastinate, find what works and not to underestimate the value of socializing.