Tips for Finding Balance in College

Dance majors are always busy, but when the weather cools, activity heats up on campus. Back-to-school excitement is replaced by midterms, extra rehearsals and social events. Dance Spirit spoke with Julia Spizzichini, a sophomore in the commercial dance program at Pace University, and Melissa Lowe, University of Arizona professor of dance and director of student services and advising, to find out how to stay healthy and manage time—while still having fun.

Help! My homework is piling up because of all my extra rehearsals.

Rather than tackling large homework assignments in one chunk, Spizzichini completes them incrementally—and starts before she's exhausted at the end of a long day of dance. “I jot down ideas while class is still fresh in my mind," she says, “and jump on smaller assignments right away so I can tackle them one at a time."

With my schedule, I can't keep up with my friends' social lives. I feel like I'm missing out on all the campus events.

Even a super-busy dance major doesn't have to entirely sacrifice her social life. Spizzichini has found that there's more time for fun when rehearsals aren't in full swing—so look ahead to the weeks after a big performance. When she's tempted to forgo sleep for socializing, she reminds herself: “This career path is dependent upon my body and its condition." And, she adds, “your true friends will understand why you can't always join them."

I'm involved in every aspect of campus life, but now it feels like too much. How do I make the most of college without exhausting myself?

In a word: prioritize. College is meant to be a balance of fun and hard work, but it's crucial to give the more important things your time and energy. Lowe is cautious when she speaks to students about making other commitments, like joining the Greek system or taking on too many leadership roles. “There will be conflicts and you'll end up feeling guilty because you're missing things due to dance," she says. Put your education first, then narrow down your commitments to the most meaningful ones.

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