Pursuing Balance: Maintaining Meaningful Connections While Building A Bright Academic Future


Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today.

Malcom X

The truth is that having access to the kind of education that institutions such as IE University offer is an opportunity that isn’t accessible to many. While the university experience can be one of the most cherished and valuable adventures in a person’s life, it also comes with many challenges, such as maintaining meaningful personal connections, whether friendships, romantic relationships, or family ties.

Balance is the topic of discussion today. We will examine how IE students navigate this delicate balance, uncovering their strategies for nurturing relationships while pursuing a bright academic life. 

I surveyed basic questions about how IE students balance their personal and academic lives. I wanted to look deeper into their efforts to keep up with their families, romantic relationships, and friendships while staying focused on academics. 

BALANCE by Mat Voyce on Dribbble

The Power of Meticulous Study Planning

Although some students stated that they prioritize their academic life above everything else, most students use detailed planning and stick to a schedule to keep on track with their work and maintain relationships. 

One student explained the thought process behind her planning and why it helps her stay on top of her tasks. “A lot of detailed planning is super important to me. On Sunday, I plan out my entire week and block out all my tasks in my calendar. That helps me also block out time for and prioritize fun/social activities. That minimizes my stress because I never wonder, “If I go out and do something fun this evening, will I have time to finish all my work this week?” I know I’ll have time because it’s all on my calendar.”

In essence, meticulous planning is the key for most students to organize themselves. 


Regarding friendships, students easily make time for their friends whether they study at IE or live back home. Many students hang out with their friends whenever they have free time, grab coffee together, or take advantage of breaks between classes to catch up. 

Picture this: the perspective of this third-year student: “Anytime I have a couple of hours to myself, I try to maybe get a coffee with a friend I haven’t seen in a while or try to see friends in between classes or before or after.” 

In addition to that, some students get together to study, which is a great way to hang out while getting work done together. 

Similarly, long-distance friendships are also a priority for students who use social media and calls to catch up occasionally. Take, for instance, one student who shared her approach to nurturing her long-distance friendships. 

“I have two friends back home from high school with whom I have bi-weekly calls. That helps us stay connected with virtually no effort because it’s automatic. We have our call, and we immediately schedule the next one. As a result of this small commitment, [roughly] 1.5 hours every two weeks, these are some of my most long-lasting, strongest friendships.” 

Despite the whirlwind of studying abroad, the technology we have access to nowadays ensures that distance never dims the bonds of friendships. 


When it comes to familial bonds, students at IE University use a wide range of ways to balance the demands of their studies with their ties to their families. These strategies are all based on a strong desire to stay connected even when physically apart. 

When reflecting on the importance of making the most of even the shortest opportunities, one student says, “I call my mum when I’m on the metro or any time I have in between anything to talk to her.” 

Another student shares, “Living abroad is hard, so communication is a key factor: video calls, visits, etc.” This highlights the importance of technology. 

These students show an unwavering commitment to maintaining their relationships with family, even in the face of distance, through regular weekly conversations and fun strategies like exchanging memes and images on social media.

Romantic Relationships

Regarding romantic relationships, most of the students who gave me an answer were single, but we got great insights from the few in a relationship. 

One student mentioned that her boyfriend had just started his exchange program in Japan and tried to communicate every moment they could while scheduling proper dates once a week or so, while another student stated, “​​It is hard because we usually tend to focus on the other person a lot, but it’s good that my partner understands that during some times I won’t be as available,” highlighting the level of communication and understanding required to carry out a healthy relationship while striving academically. 

Therefore, one of the most essential parts of being a student at IE University is learning how to strike a balance between pursuing academic goals and maintaining deep personal relationships. Students show their persistent commitment to sustaining friendships, familial links, and even love relationships despite the constraints of academic life and geographical distances by carefully planning, setting priorities, and making the most of the available technologies.

From impromptu coffee dates between classes to planned video chats with family members on the other side, IE students are models of adaptability and resilience when handling the intricacies of contemporary relationships. 

Embodying Malcolm X’s belief that education is a passport to a bright future, they understand the value of nurturing and cherishing the relationships that bond them to their loved ones. At the same time, they work to construct a bright academic future.

Featured Image ‘Balance’ by Parham Marandi on Dribbble

Tatiana Rosa El Hoyek
Tatiana Rosa El Hoyek
I am a Lebanese third year student in Communications and Digital Media. I am an absolute gym rat who is also a fashion enthusiast.

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