How to Find Balance During Your College Years

By Kaylor Jones

Student writing notes

Oftentimes, honors students can find themselves working overtime to stay on top of their classwork, and while being dedicated to academics is never a bad thing, one of the many keys to college success, according to recent research, lies in finding balance between schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

A study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science in 2018 found that among a sample of college students, those that had the most academic success were also skilled at strategic decision making regarding the management of time between studying and college game days. This study is just one of many claiming that rather than sacrificing extracurricular activities, students should strive to find a good balance between work and play.

One of the most important aspects of this balance is planning your study time around any breaks you take for extracurriculars or social gatherings. As the study showed, the most successful students compensated for their time spent on nonacademic pursuits. Here at GCU, a student could implement this by going to the basketball game during the week even if they have a few assignments due that Sunday. If they were planning to study during that time, an adaptive strategy would be to stay on top of the coursework leading up to and following the event, making sure to spend just as much time on the material as they would have in the first place rather than pushing everything aside to go cheer on the Lopes.

It may sound simple, but this strategy doesn’t have a positive impact on just a student’s GPA; the study also found that the successful, well-balanced students had even more fun, reporting a higher enjoyment during the sports game itself than the less academically successful students with less balance in their lives. This just goes to show that staying on top of your workload, taking breaks and learning what a balanced schedule looks like for you is an essential part of a healthy and well-rounded college experience.

So the next time the Lopes are going to be on the court, don’t worry about kicking back for a little while. Just keep your eye on the academic prize and have some fun!

To learn more about how you can join a community of likeminded honors students in making change in the world, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.


Jia, L., Hirt, E. R., & Koh, A. H. Q. (2018). How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Strategic Indulgence in Big-Time Collegiate Sports Among Academically Successful Students. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(6), 792–801.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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