How to balance studies and hobbies in college


Written by Charaf Mrah

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineering major currently studying in college. The purpose of this website is to share my learnings and insights with you, in the hopes of providing value and assistance to those who may need it.

Updated Jan 30, 2021

If I mastered anything in my life, it would be balancing different aspects of my life according to what I’m trying to achieve.

If I want to work on a project, I would find a way to make time for it while studying, and playing games with my friends.

If I want to get really good grades, I would do it while still having a social life.

In this blog post, I would like to share with you some of what I’ve learned in order to be able to manage your time to be able to balance your studies with your hobbies.

Schedule your studying time

Although it would be ideal to schedule everything you do, it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for people not used to it.

Personally, I schedule most of what I’m supposed to do, but I didn’t always do that.

2 years ago I started scheduling correctly for the first time in my life.

What I did was pretty simple: I printed a calendar and only filled in my studying time.

I didn’t stick to it 100% but it gave me mental clarity on what I should do and what I didn’t do.

After getting comfortable with planning your studying time, you can then move on to schedule other events like workouts, hobbies..etc.

I would recommend that you use a digital calendar if you plan on planning many things as it will be much easier to use.

With a calendar like Google Calendar, for example, you could set up reoccurring events so that you don’t have to keep rescheduling things (like on paper).

You could also move events easily, unlike on paper.

Scheduling your studying time will allow you to figure out how much free time you have if you get your studying/work done.

You can then go on to plan time for your hobbies/side projects.

Start revising early in the semester

Revising earlier in the semester is usually advice given by professors aimed at students who want to get better grades.

Another advantage that isn’t talked about as much however is that you will be able to have more free time throughout the entire semester if you stick to this advice.

When you don’t study from the beginning of the semester, you might waste a great deal of time doing nothing and when you reach the exams time you won’t have any free time because you have to cram everything last second.

Not only will this affect your time and grades (you could still get good grades thought), it can also affect your mental health.

When you have multiple things that are due in the next week, you will probably feel bad. I do think that it’s a good practice to be able to handle things under pressure, but when you’re constantly working under pressure then maybe there’s something wrong with your workflow.

On the other hand, if you start revising early, you’ll be able to have enough time for your hobbies even during exams week, or at least the week before it (if done correctly).

Split your day

Another way to schedule your time without getting too technical about it is by splitting your day.

For example, 7am – 4pm Only studying time (including lectures). Then you can do whatever you want for the rest of the day.

The only downside to this is that in college you could have a lecture at 6 pm which would ruin the schedule or routine.

If your classes are all in the morning, however, then this could be a golden strategy to use.

The upside for this way of planning is that you won’t have to keep scheduling things at different times each day.

This gives you a routine that is very straightforward and all you have to do is to try and make it a habit and stick to it.

Unfortunately, my classes are all over the place so I couldn’t implement this strategy, but I most definitely would like to try it one day.


In my opinion, to balance your studying and hobbies time, you need to first strictly schedule your studying time. After scheduling your studying time then you will most definitely have enough time to have fun without feeling guilty.

I would suggest that you either split your day (for example the morning for studying, and the rest you can do whatever you want) or schedule things using a digital calendar. You could also start by only scheduling your studying time and then move on to scheduling more activities when you get used to it.

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