A balancing act: getting involved and having fun

Allison McInnis | Assistant Opinion Editor | @allisonmcinnis_

The beginning of a new semester in college usually calls for a landslide of emotions. It can be exciting because you are away from your parents, terrifying because you’re on your own now, and it can definitely have its fair share of stress. Classes can get challenging, roommates may get annoying, and friendships are constantly changing.

What’s the key to maintaining your sanity? Balance.

Classes in college can be overwhelming, but you will learn how to manage them quickly. One way to simplify your stress is to stay organized and to read the books assigned.

University of San Diego sophomore Halie Sonnenshein explained that, when she started her freshman year, she didn’t recognize the value of reading textbooks.

“I did not know how important the book was until taking my first test,” Sonnenshein said. “It will save your life come the week before a test and you will be surprised at how much you already know.”

If you begin studying early, it can make the test much less intimidating since you will know the material thoroughly. Find a place to study that makes you comfortable, and try to make it a habit of studying there. It will form an association in your brain between that space and working diligently.

Studying in bed, then, is not always the best answer. If you begin to associate your bed with working, sleep may come harder at night. And sleeping well, especially the night before a test, can improve your test scores immensely. Keeping a balanced diet can also improve your stamina while studying, but it’s especially important to eat breakfast the morning before the test.

It is also important to remember to infuse your life with extracurricular activities that excite and motivate you. Luckily, USD has hundreds of things to do outside of the classroom.

You can join one of the many Greek programs on campus to feel the inclusion that brotherhood or sisterhood brings. According to the USD website, approximately 34 percent of the student body is in a sorority or a fraternity and try to live the five core values that the Greek Life program thrives on, including academic excellence and service to the community.

If that doesn’t interest you, there are still plenty of ways to get involved. Our student leadership team, Associated Students, works with the Torero Programming Board to put on exciting events. For example, last year MAGIC! played at the Homecoming Concert in front of the SLP.

The Alcala Bazaar, USD’s own club and organization fair, was this past week, but if you feel like you missed out because you couldn’t make up your mind about which club to join, don’t fret, you still have time. There are still many different ways to get involved in the clubs and organizations here on campus.

Joining a club is a wonderful way to help add some brightness to your day, and it’s a nice way to balance an otherwise hectic school schedule. USD has over 30 clubs and organizations, including University Ministry, USD eSports, and PRIDE.

It is easy to reach out to a club to join, and, even if the club you want to join isn’t the club all of the rest of your friends are joining, do it anyway. Being a part of something at school can make the year much more enjoyable. Recreation classes, such as yoga, swimming, and kickboxing, are a fun way to get your exercise and can even count for credit.  

Finding the right balance between classes, extracurriculars and a budding social life can be difficult, but it becomes easier to handle the longer you do it. The best part of college is being a part of new groups and making new friends. It will make your year immensely more exciting, less stressful, and overall more enjoyable.