Ask Aurora

Balancing gaming, school and work can be difficult on students during the school year. Photo by Robert Gant.


I’ve been very stressed recently. Between school, homework and work, I have almost no time to de-stress, which I usually do by playing video games. There are some games that are coming out next month that I’m very excited about and would love to play with my friends. However, with how much work I have to do every week, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that. I already don’t talk to them much anymore because of the constant workload. I’m beginning to think that my current situation might not be sustainable for the entire semester.

So, how do I maintain a healthy work-life balance?

All the best,

A resident of Stress City


Dear resident of Stress City,

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I’m sorry that you live in such an unfortunately-named city. You are not alone in the struggle to live a balanced life. I have a few tips for you to help manage stress and make time for your health and relationships.

  1. Plan and prioritize. Once I have written out everything I need to do, I feel instantly less stressed. That way, I know I won’t forget about assignments. Then, set up a plan for completion based on the order of due dates and the length of the assignments. You may need to chunk study time or set up several periods of time to work on a particularly lengthy task. I recommend labeling what you need to get done during the day and what you can start if you have more time.
  2. Take breaks. Depending on how long you feel you can keep focus, take breaks every 20-60 minutes. The breaks don’t have to be very long to be rejuvenating. Just taking a few minutes to stretch, walk around, drink water or have a snack can be enough to help you regain focus. When you need a longer break, I recommend exercising or visiting the eSports Lounge with your friends.
  3. Make time for your health. Taking a break would be the most efficient use of time. When you have the nutrients and energy you need to work and study, you will be better equipped to handle daily tasks. If you don’t have time to take an hour a few times a week to visit the gym or however you prefer to exercise, you may have to get up earlier. While you will be tired at first, starting the day with physical activity on a regular basis will give you more energy throughout the day.
  4. Make time for your friends. If you can, get together with your friends over the weekend to play a video game, or perhaps just call them. Talking through your difficulties or any topic with them will help reduce your stress as well.

For further help with scheduling and motivation, the UAA Learning Commons in the Sally Monserud Hall offers the Academic Coaching Center. The Care Team office in Rasmuson Hall is also a great resource to visit to deal with stress.


Aurora Boreowlis

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