Quality not quantity: How I make the most of my free time in college

Every quarter i find myself saying “this is the busiest quarter I have ever had”

Is this quarter an exception? No. This is the busiest quarter I have ever had. My free time is limited and very cherished. Once I am free, its easy to stress and think “oh my god this is my only time to have fun. I HAVE TO HAVE FUN” This, however is not the mentality you want to have when it comes to having fun.

It took me a long time to figure out how to make the most of my time in college, and I find it to be something I am constantly improving. When it comes to finding activities in my free time, I keep a few things in mind:

IMG_7462.jpgWill I remember this in a year?

  • This Saturday I had the pleasure of joining one of my best friends in the science march in downtown Santa Barbara. We studied in the morning, marched for an hour, got lunch, and came back to do some more studying. I also went to the womens march in Oakland in January. Both are experiences I will never forget!G0011015.JPG
  • Is there something that I can only do in this season?
    • A popular summer activity in Isla Vista is floating on the ocean in a 10 person raft. I got a chance to go this Friday afternoon for three hours. We laughed, relaxed, and watched the surfers go by. Best study break of all time
    • I try to go the pumpkin patch once a year. Yes it is tacky, yes it is a photo op, but with the right people it is a lot of fun, and something that really puts you in the seasonIMG_6786.jpg
  • What did I want to do going into college? Have I done all those things?
    • Almost everyone has kayaking on their UCSB bucket list and it only costs about $15 to get out there and do it
    • Every campus has some cool spots, whether its a rooftop, awesome hidden library, or fun gym. Bring your adventurous friends and some food and find it! Be wary of cameras and cops, not worth it to get arrested.IMG_3720.jpg
  • Can I get out and experience the town I’m in? Locals only?
    • A lot of towns have Facebook pages for residents. I would join one of those or something like an event forum. College kids don’t hear about everything going on and can really get stuck in a bubble. I joined a Facebook page for Santa Barbara events and I have heard about a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise.
    • Make friends or establish connections with people that aren’t in college. Ask them what they do on the weekends! This might sound awkward but theres nothing wrong with asking. I used to work retail and my manager was always happy to recommend food and other things to do on the weekend for me!
    • You’re only in college once, and you might only be in the city your college is in once! If you have FOMO for your college bubble, it might surprise you to see how fun it is to get out on the actual town and see how many memories you can make outside of campusDSC_0308.jpg
  • Does this involve any sort of physical activity?
    • Even if its not super strenuous, if you’re working out in any way it can give a serious feeling of accomplishment. And what better than tackling a physical feat with your best friends?
    • You will sleep better after working out (I am not a doctor so I am speaking 100% from personal experience)DSC_1068.JPG
  • Is this activity outside?
    • Vitamin D is your friend
    • This does not really apply to all my friends in cold schools (sorry but you did this to yourself)

I think the most important lesson I have learned about having quality free time and escaping from my studies is quality of quantity. Even if I only have three free hours on a Friday, I can make that time quality and go on a little adventure (like floating or watching the sunset on the roof with friends) or watch netflix for an hour or so in the morning and an hour or so at night.

I’ve also found that I study more efficiently when I take quality breaks (like two hours surfing or a sunset walk) or I have something to look forward to (like date party or a trip to the county fair) I starved myself of fun free time my freshman year and I still think that caused me to have worse grades.

Get out there, have fun, and embrace your free time!

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