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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Balancing Work & Play | Back to School

Unlike high school or secondary school, you may have lots of time in between classes and there’s no restrictions on what you can do with your free time. This lack of structure to your every second of the day can be both liberating and destructive. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do in this time. In many universities, there are clubs, Greek societies, sports and of course, PARTIES to take part in. Some of these parties, or fetes (as we call them in Barbados) may be hosted by the student societies of your campus or may be independent. Culturing a fabulous social life can be very easy during this time, but what about your academics?

In my experience, I think I waited too late to take a more active role in university socialisation. I’m a social awkward person, and I found it easier to stick to my work. But you know what they say, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy…” and I believe I was living quite the dull life the first year and a half of university.
Although academics should of course come first, but college is also about the connections that you make while there. During my freshmen orientation, this was something that the student office had stressed. If you are from a different state or even a different country, it’s always useful to make good connections and reliable friendships in university. Outside of the classroom, clubs, activities, sports and fetes are a great way to meet new people. You never know where these connections may take you.

Many colleges have clubs for just about any interest, and lots of sports are offered too. I wish my university had offered a more varied selection, because you get to interact with persons sharing common interests, and this can be useful even for academics. Besides clubs you can spend your leisure learning a new sport, or improving your skills and repping your school!


Parties are one of the biggest hoorahs about university for some. I loved that some fetes had cool themes like “J’ouvert” (a water fete here in the Caribbean), and Fitness, where you would dress in workout gear. My uni had its own carnival which was a huge event every March, with revellers in costumes along with trucks and lots of drinks, parading up Spring Garden highway. A great de-stressor if you ask me!

It’s very easy to get caught up in the campus life, but remember to set aside at least one day of the week to focus on any pending projects. Also it’s not every fete or beer lime that you need to attend, especially when you know you have a big test coming up or assignment due. Academics should take the front seat, but make sure to reward yourself by having fun and de-stressing sometimes too.  It’s only once that you get to experience college, make the most of it. Because after that may be the work world, or graduate school, which is a whole other can of worms!


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