Mixing School and Social Life: Can You Handle It?

Mixing School and Social Life: Can You Handle It?

Stephanie Gelsey, Impact Staff

Is it possible to mix business with pleasure? School life with social life? Is anyone capable of having both, without failing at one or the other?

The transition from high school to college is always a nerve-racking experience, no one is entirely prepared for the situations they will be thrown into, and admittedly, I certainly wasn’t.

When graduating from high school, you always think you know who you are. That you have a set group of friends, and life will be nothing but sunshine and daisies from then on. When you enter college, you realize that you have been thrown into the mix with a lot of people, and you must learn how to survive both academically and socially.

College has a completely different set of rules, and lifestyle that most aren’t accustomed to. Finding a balance between school, and your social life is incredibly important when you first enter college. To drink, or not to drink? To study or not? These are important questions you must ask yourself when you are looking to mingle at college.

A social life in college is incredibly important to the growth of a college student into a full-fledged human being. In high school, it was easy to get your work done because you had your parents to tell you when to do things, and how to do things. In college, your entire time management is up to you, and you alone. Making academics a priority, or socializing in a party situation are entirely up to the person you are, and who you plan to become. The biggest difference between high school and college is the amount of freedom you are actually given. In high school, you had your entire day planned out for you from the moment you awoke, until after school hours when you maybe had to play a sport, act in a play or practice on your instrument. However you chose to spend your time after that was usually made up of studying, hanging with friends, watching television, or occasionally doing illegal things with inappropriate friends.

Is it possible to effectively mix school and social life? For me personally, I think it could be possible, depending on how social you plan on getting. My friends and I, our social activity consists of late nights, heavy drinking, and occasional substances that shall not be named. I make a conscious effort to get all my work in, and “usually” succeed. I’ve never been a poor student, nor have I ever failed a class. Sometimes the pressures of college are unnerving, and finding release in your own way is incredibly important. The amount of studying expected of a college student is six to eight hours a night (we all know that’s not happening for most of us.) On average, most of us spend three to four hours attempting to study, which usually turns into “people watching” in the library, or talking with friends around us. In college, you have more leisure time, considering you make your own schedule. Your classes are picked by you, and you control the time you spend outside of the classroom. It’s all on you. Mixing the time you spend with friends, and the time you spend studying can be tricky when there are so many distractions here at school.

Peer pressure, a fun subject, has been on the shoulders of students no matter how old old they are. Either you are pressured with drugs and alcohol, or you are pressured by peers, teachers, and parents to succeed in school by being the best. My parents never expected me to be the greatest student in the world, and I never expected to be either, but making a conscious effort daily to do your best is important. If you are feeling pressured by your peers, you should escape. Take yourself to the library or a quiet study area where you can focus, instead of turning everyday into a booze-fueled adventure. Your social life is what will help define you later on in life, and it is important to have one, but it should never be at the expense of your education or morals.

In high school, you did not find yourself living with other students, here at college you are randomly selected to live with a person you may, or may not, be compatible with, but you are forced to make it work. I was unfortunate to have two terrible roommates who caused nothing but issues for me during my first two years at college, and it made studying and making friends incredibly difficult. One roommate was certifiably insane, which did not help me attempting to branch out and make friends, and my other roommate was an alcoholic who had serious male drama constantly and hardly ever did her assignments.

Obviously, I was the perfect roommate.

I believe living with those people helped ground me, and show me how not to act, and also made it easier for me to find better friends to surround myself with.

There is no right or wrong way to approach college. You are left to find out who you are for yourself. No one is here to tell you what to do, or who to be, and it is imperative that you figure it out for yourself. The most important years of your life are when you are in college, when your true friendships, your life lessons, and your ability to socialize while balancing work all materialize. Who you decide to be in college is who you will be for the rest of your life. Scary, I know. Once you get a hold of your life, everything will eventually fall into place, and you will be a better person for it. You may think going out, and having drunken adventures is not a good idea for you, and that is fine. You may feel the party is where you need to be, this is also fine. You have the power to make decisions for yourself, and that is what these college years are for.

When you are feeling peer pressured, or feeling as though everything is weighing heavy on you, just remember what the late, great Hunter S. Thompson said, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”