At a university like Tulane, with a high academic rating and an even higher party-school reputation, it can feel difficult to balance academics and a social life; after all, how many times have you heard our unofficial motto “Work Hard, Play Hard?” To me, working and playing are equally important. It’s just as necessary for me to maintain and create strong relationships and spend time with friends as it is to do well and learn a lot in my classes. If you’re struggling to balance the two, here are a few tips I’ve picked up from my experiences that might help you too.

1. Introduce yourself to your professors

Since it’s still the beginning of the semester, now is the perfect time to do this. If you introduce yourself to your professors, they might be more lenient when it comes to helping you out. If something comes up and you need an extension on an assignment, ensuring that your profs know your name, or at least your face, will surely work in your favor.

2. Make To-Do Lists on Paper

Organization is key to balance. To-Do lists can help you plan your day and ease your mind. When I have lots to do, my mind becomes cluttered; I forget some tasks, or think I’m forgetting a task, and I drive myself crazy. To-Do lists help me avoid this, especially when it comes to writing it out. Plus, there is something so satisfying about crossing out a task on a piece of paper.

3. Take advantage of Tulane’s academic support resources

For over $60,000 a year, it seems worth it to take advantage of office hours, academic advising, and other resources offered by Tulane for academic or career support. If you don’t like your academic advisor or don’t find them helpful, ask for a new one! Or branch out and connect to the advisor assigned to you for your major/minor. You deserve to feel constantly supported in your academic endeavors.

4. Take advantage of Tulane’s emotional support resources, too.

It can be hard to academically succeed when we’re feeling stressed or battling other challenges. Thankfully, Tulane offers a free counseling service called CAPS, where you can attend individual therapy, group therapy, or meet with a counselor to discuss medication options. Emotional stability is key in achieving academic success!

5.  Let yourself enjoy the “Play Hard” half of the motto.

This one is hard for me sometimes. I get so tied up in my academic life that I don’t give myself time to enjoy my social one. I’ve noticed that when I let myself enjoy time with friends, and time not thinking about school, I end up actually performing better academically. But of course, anything in excess is never good.

Amidst the busy Spring semester, and with Mardi Grads creeping up on us, it can feel difficult to remember the importance of these steps. And although they may seem minor, applying some of these tips has the potential to truly improve (and ease) your college experience.

Cover Photo: Bianca Falanga