Alfred Anderson | Staff Writer 

The beginning of your college experience at N.C. State can be one of the most exciting, yet difficult times of one’s life.  On one hand, students are in for the best four years of their lives. Students get the opportunity to meet new people, try new things, become self-sufficient and further their education. On the other hand, college can become more and more daunting because students are introduced to an unfamiliar environment that’s full of strangers and uncertainties.

The Struggle: Finding the right balance

One of the biggest obstacles one will face as a student is balancing a social life and academics. It is important to learn to balance, because both are essential not to just college but also to life in general. Developing relationships with new people, making connections and being involved on campus are just as important as learning, studying and making good grades.

Young adults now unbound by parental restrictions are free to do whatever they want. Students have the liberty to sleep in late, skip class and party to their heart’s content, but of course, those freedoms come with consequences. It is easy to go “buck wild” in college and ultimately forget the reason that they are here in the first place. However, with proper structure and balance, college can be one of the most exciting, fun and satisfying times in life.

Here are a few steps to begin organizing your college academic and social life:

1. Prioritize: Put most important things first. You are a college student, so remember that your education should be your first priority– after all, it is the reason why you are here. Put going to class, doing homework and studying above any party or social event. There will always be parties, trust me. So, never feel pressed to “turn up” all the time. Get the important things like your schoolwork done first, then enjoy and reward yourself later.

2. Organize: Get your life together. One of the things that helps make college easier is having a plan and being organized. As a college student, you will realize that some aspects of your life will quickly fall apart if you are not organized. There may be occasions where you have to balance work in four different classes that is all due on the same day– if your time is not properly planned out, this could tear you apart physically and mentally. So, stay on top of your game. Make schedules and organize your time wisely so that you can manage all of your work and all of your free time.

3. Socialize: Finally, make sure to go out and meet people. With a campus full of thousands of students, it will not be hard to find friends and others that share your interests. Even more importantly, the African American community here at NC State is small. Get to know your peers. Nine times out of ten, we will all end up at the same events and parties, so don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone. With a vast number of organizations that work under the Afrikan American Student Advisory Council (AASAC), there are plenty of organizations that you can join to help you meet new people and get involved on campus.

In all, college is a great and life-changing experience. You will have some of your most memorable moments here and meet some amazing people along the way. Although life is never perfect, be sure to try your best to learn how to balance your social life with your academics and you will be in for the ride of a lifetime.