According to friends and family—many of which have “been there, done that”—college is supposed to be the best four years of one’s life. But have you ever wondered why that’s the case? Is it the long hours in the library studying for midterms? Or, is it the experience of squeezing out a passing grade after being at the brink of failing a class?

I know the struggle all too well. But it’s always so funny to me when those hardships aren’t mentioned as part of the “college experience.”  When most people reflect back on their undergrad years, they often think of all the parties, late night road trips and, of course, some experiences that they would just rather not mention but cherish just the same. Now, don’t get me wrong, those experiences are all a big part of college life; but how many of your classmates party all the time and maintain a 4.0-grade point average at the same time? If you know anyone like that, please give them my contact info so they can spill the tea?

Oftentimes, there is this common misconception that you have to choose between partying and studying. But I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible to manage both successfully.   

Beyond college, life is all about having a balance. Therefore, if you are struggling right now with having a poppin’ social life and doing well in school, I want to share four things that have worked for me in trying to find a balance.  

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TIME: This is your most important asset, so be strategic about it. Plan out your day from start to finish, allocating time for work and socializing. I know it may sound silly, but you should create blocks of 15-30 mins. throughout the day. Use that time to call people and check your social media. This will allow you to focus on your assignments without distraction, and still be in the loop with what’s going on in your circle.

ORGANIZATION: This tip is key to being a successful balancer. By planning out your day and mapping out what events and assignments are coming up, you will be able to stay ahead in school and not feel guilty when you want to hang out with the girls on the weekend.

SCHEDULING: This might sound weird, but treat your outings with your friends like a business. Schedule a time to meet with them for lunch or whenever you are free. That way you won’t run into the issue of hanging out for too long and not getting any work done.  

BE PICKY: You don’t have to be at every function. Pick and choose which outings are worth it and make sure you grind and study on the days you choose to stay home.

College will be the best time of your life. But please remember to create a balance if you want to succeed at your social and academic life.