Madeline Wilson

As a college student, I’ve gotten rather familiar with the phrase, 'There’s just not enough time in the day!'  Over the past three years, I’ve learned that college is very much a juggling act: balancing our social lives, our academics, our extra-curricular activities, while at the same time trying to keep our personal lives in check and make enough time for ourselves.  From my own experience, the speed of everyday life at college is fast-paced and can be incredibly intense at times, and as a result, our priorities shift, and our personal lives are forced to take a backseat.  If there’s anything I’ve learned as a college student, it’s the value of being able to prioritize certain responsibilities over others, while also allocating enough time to do the things I love.  College is about exploring various avenues of interest, trying new things, and discovering what is truly important or what truly matters to you.  And while 4 years seems like a daunting chunk of time, it goes by terrifyingly quickly.  Therefore, it’s pretty damn normal to feel the need to pack as much as we possibly can into one unforgettable college experience.


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As I mentioned before, college is very much about exploring and discovering various interests, and figuring out who we are and who we want to be, while also prioritizing certain responsibilities (ie. academic, personal, extracurricular).  However, it’s also about making time for ourselves.  For the longest time, my mom has always told me that no matter where we are or what we do in life, at the end of every single day, the only thing that we have is ourselves.  Never before have I found this philosophy so applicable to my life until coming to college, and it’s a philosophy that I’ve continued to live by day-to-day.  We all know what it’s like to spread ourselves too thin, almost to the point where we become fraught with exhaustion, have a mental breakdown, or simply hit a mental wall and lose motivation.

So, what can we do to make sure that we make ourselves our most important priority, in the midst of our hectic #collegelyfe?  Well, friends, let me share my wisdom with you... here are some of my tips on how to make enough time for YOU in college (and how to generally stay sane): 

1. Rethink your schedule.

How much time do you spend on certain tasks?  For example, do you find yourself checking your email constantly, or spending a sickening amount of time scrolling through your social media accounts throughout the day?  If this is the case, maybe you can start thinking about dropping one or two responsibilities that don’t necessarily need all of your attention at that given moment, and replacing them with something that you find would be more beneficial for your time.  While it may take multiple tries to master the art of re-organizing your daily priorities, this will allow you to carve out more free time for yourself, and in turn, make your schedule a bit more manageable. 

2. Remember to breathe!

Every morning, I allow myself to wake up slowly.  I focus my gaze upward, take at least 5 deep breaths, and set my intentions for the day (i.e. what I need to get done and how I want to accomplish my goals that day).  Not only does this help clear and energize my mind, but it encourages me to plan my day more efficiently.   

3. It’s okay to say no.

If there is something that you don’t want to do, that doesn’t interest you, or that you don’t enjoy, don’t feel the need to waste your time on it!  Quite often, I find myself over-committing to certain activities (both social and academic), and as a result, I spread myself a bit too thin and am unable to make enough ‘ME time.’  What I’ve learned is that saying NO never hurts, and if you’re worried about disappointing people or missing out on something, DON’T BE!  You are your most important obligation, and at the end of the day YOUR happiness is much more valuable than other people’s happiness.


I focus my gaze upward, take at least 5 deep breaths, and set my intentions for the day.


4. Apply the 15-20 minute rule.

No matter how hectic my schedule is, or how stressed I am, I always make sure to dedicate at least 15 to 20 minutes per day to something that I truly enjoy, pushing any and all responsibilities or obligations aside.  If it means going to the gym, journaling, taking a nap, or having a catch-up sesh with a friend, then I will do it, and I NEVER regret it.  Not only am I more productive, but ‘ME time’ teaches me to place my energies in areas of my life that I consider to be most important.

5. Find out what you consider to be your ME time.

The definition of ‘ME time’ will differ from person to person.  For example, while someone may consider their ‘ME time’ to be hanging out with friends, someone else may simply want to sit in their bedroom and journal without any distractions.  It all depends on where you derive your happiness from.

So, next time you feel like you’re drowning in school work, over-committing, stressed or simply overloaded with your schedule, and are struggling to find YOU time, give these 5 tips a try!


Maddie Wilson is a Junior at Scripps College majoring in Media Studies and minoring in French. She loves blogging, watching YouTube videos, playing with her puppies at home, traveling, and consuming large amount of chocolate chips and frozen yogurt.


Comments (3)

  1. Samantha Ann

This really resonates with me! My mom always tells me that "No" is a complete sentence and you do not always have to explain why you do or do not want to do something. "Me" time is so important! I often find doing things by myself like visiting a...

This really resonates with me! My mom always tells me that "No" is a complete sentence and you do not always have to explain why you do or do not want to do something. "Me" time is so important! I often find doing things by myself like visiting a museum or simply just taking a walk helps with personal growth and understanding who you are.

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  1. Jacqui    Samantha Ann

I really like your mom's idea! No IS important Thank you for sharing!

  1. Meagan Hooper

Amazing tips for every stage of life. As an entrepreneur and 35 year old, not over-booking, taking time to breath, set intentions, saying no, taking time to do things that I enjoy and defining that are SO critical to my success!


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