The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday September 29th

How to find balance as a college student

<p>Campus Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services is making major changes to better aid students.</p>
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Campus Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services is making major changes to better aid students.

Most students would agree that finding a balance between social life, school and involvement in college is difficult. We live in a never-ending fast pace world where we are constantly on-the-go and there is a constant pressure to excel.

“Certainly in my experience with UNC students, they are very active, involved and overcommitted,” said Allen O’Barr, the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services. “Sometimes it just takes either figuring that out yourself or talking to someone else about it like, ‘I really would like to do all of these things, but I can’t do all of these things. Given what my objectives are right now, this is what I want to focus on.’”

Needless to say, balance is attainable, but also subjective. What one person defines as having balance might differ from another person’s viewpoint. It comes back to what you define as important in your life.

If what you are doing right now isn’t working, there are a few methods you can try to regain balance.

1. Find an outlet for expression

Alleviate your stress through something you are passionate about. Allow yourself to escape reality temporarily through a hobby or extracurricular activity to lower stress and encourage creativity. If you’re struggling to find an escape, find what interests you and stick to it. You don’t have to be good at it.

2. Accept that you can’t do everything

It is hard to accept that we, as humans, are not perfect beings. Prioritize what is most important to you. We have a tendency to put too much on our plates because we want to appear well-rounded. It is better to excel in two or three things than be mediocre at eight things.

3. Relationships matter

It can be easy at times to push away those closest to you because of excessive stress or a bad mood. Remember to keep the ones you cherish close to you and try to set aside quality time with them. Friends and family always have a way of cheering you up when you’re feeling down.

Daily reminder: tell your friends and family you love them!

4. Reward yourself

Whatever it may be, rewarding yourself will incentivize you to keep looking forward. Make sure you are giving yourself credit for all your hard work, whether it’s acing your exam or landing your dream job.

5. Pay attention to your health and recognize what is best for you

There are many resources available on campus through CAPS and UNC Student Wellness. O’Barr said it is very common to see undergrads who overload their plates, and they don’t necessarily have anyone to say, ‘Hey, is this particular thing that you are doing is more important than this particular thing?’”

O’Barr said that balance is one of the things they work with a lot at CAPS.

Always remember: If you are struggling, it is okay to reach out.

Tips based on CAPS Self-Help for Mental Health.


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