Tips for Juggling the Three S's: School, Social Life and Sleep

The three S's—school, social life and sleep—are the major building blocks of the school year. Juggling them is a balancing act that I'm not even sure Simone Biles could master.

Student with glasses sleeping on her books

(Photo Credit: Evgeny Atamanenko via Shutterstock)

The problem with these building blocks is that they aren't a hierarchy, but instead a triangle. How can we say that sleep is more important than school or that a social life is more important that sleep? This isn't rock-paper-scissors we're talking about, after all.

So, how do we know which one to prioritize when the clock is ticking and it's crunch time?

Get some tips on the topsy-turvy balancing act of the three S's below.

1. Procrastination Is the Enemy

The number one rule to this balancing act is avoiding procrastination. Do your work as soon as it's assigned. Believe me, I know how easy it can be to put off an essay that's due two weeks down the road. But trust, completing your work ASAP is the best way to ensure a good night's sleep and enjoyable social life in the future. By putting off your work, you're basically guaranteeing an all-nighter on the evening of your best friend's birthday.

Girl doing school work at desk

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2. Listen to Your Mind, Not Your FOMO

When you know that you have important school work to finish or studying to do, it's best to stay in rather than go out. You must always pick your FOMO battles because, face it, the entire squad isn't at every single hangout. When your friends plan a last-minute movie night, ask yourself: Will I be able to finish my work? If the answer is no, then take a rain check on the evening at the theater.
 

3. See the Big Picture

It's easy to get caught up in the bustle of school. But college is still years away and you want to be able to look back on high school with fond memories of friends rather than lonesome Friday nights surrounded by textbooks. Of course your academic life is important, but so are friendships! Say "yes" to weekend activities because you always have the school week to study.

Three girlfriends smiling for a picture

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4. Make a Weekly Schedule

Jotting down your weekly to-do list, including both academic and social commitments, is a helpful way of planning out your schedule. This way you have your plans laid out in front of you so the surprise party you forgot about doesn't mess with your sleep or studying routine.
 

5. Gotta Catch 'Em All! Zzzs, That Is

Sometimes we think of sleep as a lazy activity. But that's just not true! We need sleep in order to keep our other two S's going strong. Without solid rest, our brains get wonky. It becomes difficult to concentrate, meaning our academic and social A-games will be more like a C-. No matter what, aim for eight hours of meaningful sleep—that doesn't include an hour of staring at your phone before bed! Remember: If you are crash studying, sleep will be a more helpful tool than your 2:00 am flashcards. 

Girl in bed while staring at her phone

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6. Know Your Limits

Hey, just because it's Friday night and all of your school work is in doesn't mean you can't take the evening for yourself. Don't hesitate to bail on that hangout or study sesh if a date with your PJs and Netflix sounds more appealing. A social life is important, but so is some much deserved "me time." Apply your face mask and cuddle with your puppy because tonight is about you. 
 

7. Sort Out Your Priorities

Ask yourself: What's tomorrow? Decide which of the three S's takes priority based on the commitment you have the next day. If you have a big test or project due, it's safe to say your priority is school. If you don't have any commitments, you might want to hang with some friends. No next-day commitments means you can always sleep in if your tank is low on Zzz's.

 

Schoolwork may be hard, but it's totally manageable if you remember the first rule: Procrastination is the enemy. Read up on one girl's attempt at cheating on a test and find out what she learned from the whole debacle HERE.