I met a student once who did everything perfectly to prepare for a test – but failed because he slept through his alarm and missed it. Another student lost a letter grade on a paper turned in late, and later learned from another student that this wouldn’t have happened if she had just emailed the professor to request an extension.
Balance Skills refers to all of the tools & strategies needed to support your academic efforts by effectively managing factors that can undermine them. Procrastination, stress, disorganization, work and family demands, communication struggles (with professors or in relationships) and financial concerns are just some of the issues faced by students at one time or another. Having the tools and strategies to effectively manage these issues, conflicts and/or demands is essential for remaining focused and on-track academically.
The Bottom Line: You work hard to master what you’re learning in the lab or classroom – don’t let the outside stresses and demands sabotage these efforts. Similar to the spirit of active learning, be curious about approaches to help with balance – seek information or workshops on topics such as managing time & stress, effective communication with faculty & staff, assertiveness training, conflict resolution strategies, or choice-making.