Children and adolescents often find themselves caught in a tussle between studies and friends. On the one hand there’s fun to be had with buddies and on the other is the necessity to do well in academics. Both place significant demands on students. So, how does one balance the two?
1 Life is a like a pizza: Just as a pizza has different slices, so does life. Individually, each piece is delicious, yet the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So, one has to remember that the different facets of life are all equally important and demand an almost equitable portion of our efforts.
2 Learn to compartmentalise: Compartmentalisation is an important skill that students need to develop. Being able to compartmentalise and work on one aspect of life is essential while being able to ignore other preoccupying concerns.
So it is important that students study when required while not getting distracted by thoughts of spending time with friends.
At the same time, they should be able to socialise with friends while not thinking about studies.
3 Be regular with work: Being regular with work is very important to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. This makes it easier to take time out.
4 Do remember to have fun with friends: When out with friends, have a blast. Whatever activity you engage in, try and derive as much pleasure and sense of satisfaction as possible.
5 Have common goals in your group: Encourage a spirit of achievement and prod all members of your group towards success. It is essential to develop friendships and help one’s friends also climb the ladder of success.
6 Plan well: Planning is a primary skill to balance the different aspects of life. Having and following a schedule especially ensures that one is able to enjoy and do the things one wants to do.
7 Make sure you are emotionally in control: Do not let emotional highs and lows affect your study routine. We experience different emotional states at different points in time. Do not allow emotional crests and troughs caused by different experiences with friends to impact your routine.
8 Prioritise: Prioritise your tasks. Giving priority to important work and completing it gives you a sense of achievement. This also reduces the pressures you might feel thinking about finishing pending tasks.
9 Be open with your parents: Discuss all your plans and ways to carry these out. Tell them how you plan to schedule activities for yourself and how you would set your targets. Keep them involved, get their advice and ensure their continued support.
10 Talk to someone if you are in a fix: Many a time, talking to someone – a friend, teacher or parent – can work wonders. When in a situation where you feel a solution is evading you, talking or speaking to someone can help you gain an alternative perspective and help boost your morale and confidence.
The author is a psychiatrist, chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural sciencesSciences, Max Healthcare