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Ask Iggy: How do I balance my social life with work and school?

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Image Credit: Rockhurst University

Image Credit: Rockhurst University

Image Credit: Rockhurst University

Iggy Jo, Advice Columnist

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College can be a really stressful time, but I’m here to help relieve some of it. If you come across some obstacles and would like to get some solicited, honest and (mostly) objective advice on the direction to go, shoot them at me.Send your questions to [email protected].

A brief disclaimer: we humans are such wonderful beings with the power of free will, so make sure to take any advice with careful consideration on whether it would fit into your life. In all things, keep your mind, body and spirit at utmost importance.

With that, on to the advice.

Hi Iggy Jo, I struggle with balancing my school work with my family and friends. How do you maintain an active social life while still getting good grades in college? What is a good balance?

Organization is key. One way is having a calendar that will do wonders for you! Use it to keep all your commitments, such as work and school, into one place. Although schedules are tentative a lot of the time (stuff happens), you may find that you’ll have those coveted “no-test weeks” and other breaks in which you can plan outings with your family and friends.

But where do you get a calendar? There are hundreds of calendar apps for mobile devices. If you are still on the flip-phone flow or want to keep it old school, no worries! Check out most bookstores and convenience stores to find a planner that works for you. Another option would be a DIY planner from your notebooks.

As for balance, that is completely subjective to what you believe to be healthy and obtainable for yourself!

DO:

  • Get a calendar or planner – write it down!
  • Make realistic goals
  • Realize that time is precious and to respect yours and others

DON’T:

  • Overwhelm yourself with an insurmountable schedule
  • Plan things where you know you’ll be unable to make it or just won’t be completely present

Hi Iggy Jo, I am not happy with the way that I look physically and it’s been taking a toll on how I view myself as a whole. I don’t have a car on campus and couldn’t afford a gym membership anyways. What are some ways that you can live an active lifestyle without spending a lot of money?

This is a common problem for us estudiantes (students). Physical activity is a great way to boost your mood and is definitely attainable through various low-cost means. The best way to approach this is with a friend or partner that will encourage you, and some upbeat tunes!

Some great ideas that are free or for a person on a budget:

  • Going for walks – we have gorgeous parks around Kansas City!
  • Online workout videos in your living room or personal space – websites such as Youtube have a lot of different exercises at various intensity levels
  • Rockhurst has a gym for the students that’s included in our tuition

There may be some insecurities, but people who laugh at people who are just trying to better themselves are not the kinds of people whose opinion really matters, anyways.

In addition to working out, you will have to change your eating habits to see a physical change. This does NOT mean starving yourself, but there are plentiful clean, delicious recipes.

Finally, if you have a kind heart and are treating people by the Golden Rule, you are already a superb person! Physical attributes are things that can be changed and we’ll all be rooting for you.

Hi Iggy Jo, Spring break is coming up and people everywhere are talking about their plans to go to beaches in other states, skiing up north, and even overseas. How do you or can you travel on a budget?

Traveling is a hot commodity around the holiday and break seasons. However, the prices are a total turnoff to us students who have bills to pay.

Here are a few tips for traveling on a budget:

  • Set a reasonable and attainable budget for your vacation
  • Research the places where you’d like to go and what you’d like to do to help estimate costs
  • Plan and book early to get the best rates on flights and hotels
  • Check out websites that offer deeply discounted prices for resorts and oversea tours. BEWARE: read the fine print, as you might be paying for the flight(s), food, and hidden fees that will ruin your budget
  • If flying to another state, Canada, or Mexico is too costly, opt for a road trip – the journey may turn into a vacation in of itself
  • Get a group of family or friends to go with you – this will help with places that offer discounted group rates and for splitting costs for a airbnb

If you are still unable to afford going on vacation out of state or the country, make an effort try something new in your hometown with your loved ones. As they say, it’s not about where you are, but who you’re with.

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Ask Iggy: How do I balance my social life with work and school?