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When I came to college, I knew that I wanted both a college education as well as the college experience. Now, don’t get me wrong; I didn’t (nor do) have any plans to get completely wasted, do questionable things and get in disciplinary trouble. However, I also didn’t want to stay in every weekend. I wanted the best of both worlds and in the last 6 months, I’ve done nothing but try to create this for myself.

I go to Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. I love being a Bobcat but it’s come with a few stereotypes. QU is notorious for being a party school and it’s almost expected that everyone here enjoys to go out and have a good time. Another Bobcat stereotype though, is “work hard, play hard” and I think this exemplifies a majority of my friends and I in terms of how we balance school with the social scene.

A common misconception people have is that the students who make Dean’s list (which, at my school, means that you have a 3.5 GPA) are the students who don’t necessarily go out a lot and instead spend their free time doing homework and studying. While this may the case for some, this is definitely not the case for everyone.

Personally, I’d argue the opposite. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had the most stressful week I could have ever imagined and instantly felt better after I went out on a Saturday night with all my friends. There’s just something so therapeutic about getting all dolled up and taking a hundred pictures with your girls, dancing around and having a great time after you just killed it on your last paper or exam. It’s actually incredible how powerful a night off can be.
This doesn’t mean that you should ever neglect all of your work though. I generally do a bulk of my homework from Monday through Thursday, finish up on Friday and spend Saturday with my friends. I finished last semester with a 3.7, securing a spot on the Dean’s list, even though I spent a majority of my Saturday nights out with my friends.

I’ve found that many struggle to find this balance primarily because they don’t spend time during the week focusing on homework unless it’s the homework that’s due the very next day. That’s probably the biggest mistake you can make, especially if you’re the type of person who wants to truly experience the college nightlife scene.

It’s easy to go out every weekend and still make Dean’s; you just have to decide to do this early on and commit to it, finishing all of your work before you go out.

Don’t let the fear of failing your exams or falling behind on schoolwork keep you from having fun in college. I promise, it’s entirely possible to kick major butt in your classes while also forming great bonds with everyone you meet and taking ridiculously cute pictures for Instagram, tricking everyone into thinking that you just party all day.

We need to drop the misconception that “smart” kids don’t party and that “dumb” kids only party. You can have all As and be the biggest partier and you can have all Cs and never go out. The two don’t necessarily have to correlate and personally, I think finding the happy medium is the best thing to do if you truly want to obtain both a college education as well as a college experience.
Work harder than you ever have, have more fun than you thought possible and be safe kiddos!

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