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Finals Advice Column

Dear Jossie,

What is the best way to balance family time and study time while at home?


Dear Stressed,

Thank you for reaching out! This semester has been crazy, and I know that when I get home, I want to just kick back and relax, but I have a pile of work to do.

While I do not know your situation or your course load, I can give you some advice on how to find the middle ground between family and studying. It is important that all students take at least a moment to enjoy their time at home.

We have had a semester of non-stop classes, and it is ridiculous to think that we are not burnt out to at least some degree. Without the option of pass/fail, a lot of students are nervous about their grades and all of the coursework that professors are piling on.

Take time to do whatever it is you need to do or want to do. For me, I am going to play cards with loved ones and then curl up and take a fat nap. For one of my roommates, she’s spending a whole day with her dog. Just her and her pup all day—no homework, no work, no responsibilities.

You have to figure out what helps you relax and enjoy it. The tricky part comes with getting back into school mode.

Getting back in the zone for me is a matter of getting organized and creating a schedule. Without some sort of schedule, I am way too prone to letting deadlines slip away and getting distracted.

I need to have a to-do list, or else I procrastinate and forget about assignments.

When my friends ask me to hang out or my mom asks me to run errands with her, I have a list of tasks that keep me in line. School comes first, so I have to get my homework done before I can run to the store or grab coffee.

At home, it can be easy to fall into the trap of telling yourself it is family time when it is really just you watching reruns of “Full House” at 10 p.m. with your younger sister. You have to do your best to be diligent about what is family time and what is school time.

This being said, sometimes you can mix family time and school work. For instance, when my family sits down to watch a movie, I can work on my paper with the movie on in the background and when my parents are cooking dinner I can do my homework at the table while catching up on neighborhood gossip.

Long story short, it is a matter of taking time for yourself but knowing when you need to put your shoulder to the grindstone and get to work, and if you can kill two birds with one stone, you might get your homework done in time to eat the second one with the family for dinner.

Happy Holidays!


Jossie’s advice column will return in the spring semester.

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