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Keeping a balanced lifestyle in college provides an important foundation that will help you be successful. In order to stay balanced across academic, social, and other aspects of college, it’s important to take care of yourself. This handout offers some considerations and will help you reflect on how you maintain self-care, and balance the busy life of a college student.

Routine Self-Care

Maintaining and practicing good self-care can help keep you prepared to make the most out of your college experience. Maintaining regular routines can be especially helpful for keeping up with all of your self-care needs.


Sleep is critical to optimal functioning.

  • How much sleep do you need?
  • When should you be going to bed and waking up?
  • How can you structure your day to meet your sleep needs?
  • Click here for more information on sleep and the college student.


  • Our bodies and minds cannot run effectively without the fuel it needs!
  • Are you regularly eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
  • When can you plan meal times that work with your schedule?
  • Who might you eat your meals with?
  • Are you eating healthy?


  • Incorporating exercise into your routine will promote wellness and holistic health.
  • Are you working in exercise to your day or week?
  • How might exercise improve your quality of life?

Hygiene, errands & routine care

College lifestyle can get very busy, especially around exams or deadlines, so it’s important to keep up with hygiene, errands, and routine care so you are prepared to complete your tasks.

  • Do you have a hygiene routine? (e.g., shower each morning or night)
  • What sort of things do you need to prepare to complete chores? (e.g., laundry detergent for laundry)
  • Do you have a set time to complete errands?


In college, you will likely be responsible for managing your medication.

  • Who will write your prescription? (e.g., campus health, primary care physician, etc.).
  • Where will you pick up your prescription? (e.g., campus health pharmacy, student union pharmacy, community pharmacy)
  • What identification will you need to pick up you medication? (e.g., health insurance card and license)
  • How will refilling your medication work? (e.g., will you be contacted, or do you need to make a request?)
  • What will your system be for remembering to refill your prescription?
  • Where and how will you secure your medication?
  • How might you handle requests from others for your medication?

Staying Balanced

Living a well-balanced life can help minimize stress and optimize your quality of life. Make sure you are balancing your academic, social, family, work, or any other responsibilities you may have.


It’s important to devote the adequate amount of time for you to reach your academic goals.

  • How might you determine the amount of time you need to devote to studying in order to be prepared for class, tests, papers, etc.?
  • How will you organize your time and materials to keep up with your classes?
  • How will you utilize available resources to help you achieve your academic goals? (e.g., the learning center, writing center, math and science help centers, professor/TA office hours, librarian, tutoring).


  • In college, it can be easy to do too few or too many social activities.
  • Are you taking social time for yourself to de-stress?
  • How do you balance socializing with academics?
  • What types of organizations/activities might you want to join?

Family & Friends

Your roles, interactions, and relationship with your family may change in college.

  • Did your family provide support or structure in the past? If so, how will you provide that for yourself?
  • What role, if any, could family members still play in providing you support?
  • Do you need to devote time to family responsibilities?
  • How do you maintain healthy relationships with family, friends, classmates, roommates, professors, etc.?


Think about other responsibilities you may need to fit into your schedule.

  • Work
  • Sports
  • Volunteering
  • Internships
  • Research projects
  • Anything else you plan to regularly devote time to

REMEMBER: The UNC Learning Center is a great resource! Both peer tutoring and academic coaching can help you work on crafting email or conducting mock conversations with your professors.