As college students, it can be difficult to balance a full course load with everything else you’re involved in. From on-campus activities, off-campus activities, to internships, and part-time jobs to pay for it all, it can get overwhelming. Sometimes it can even feel like you’re pressured to be super involved.
Not to mention, you keep hearing people talk about “finding a balance,” but honestly you have no idea what that means or how to “find” one. It can be hard to be a student, be involved, and feel like you still have a life outside of your activities and Bender Library, but I can promise that it is possible – though not without some time.
Don’t take on everything at once.
While it’s awesome that you might have gotten all these opportunities at once for internships, jobs, and leadership positions in the clubs you’re involved in, it’s important to prioritize. It’s going to be a big shock for your mind, stress levels, and body to transition from just having to deal with classes to being a full-time student, part-time employee, president of your club, and an intern on the Hill.
Easing yourself into things is going to be a lot easier. While it might be hard to not take on everything that you want to do at once, it’s going to be a lot easier balancing a part-time job and an internship once you’ve gotten accustomed to at least one of them.
Being busy means that you’ve got a lot to do – which unfortunately mean that there’s more for you to forget about. Make sure that you’re staying on top of things by keeping organized. Maybe it’s something as simple as a desk calendar that you can look at and gauge how this week is going to look, or maybe you have reminders on your phone.
While the Peter Pan mindset in me wants to hate this part of life, getting organized with a calendar and regularly updating said calendar is going to radically change your life, basically. Whatever works best for you is going to be an important aspect to maintaining a busy schedule.
Don’t be afraid to lighten your load.
While I firmly believe that being busy and constantly giving yourself something to look forward to is an important part of happiness and a healthy lifestyle, there comes a time where being too busy does not do anything to improve or maintain that health. Sometimes it just happens that we take on too much.
If you’re scheduling in time to sleep, living on coffee and caffeine pills, or constantly stressed over deadlines and the fact that there just isn’t enough time in the day, it might be time to cut some of your responsibilities. Maybe it’s as simple as working a few less hours a week. Maybe next semester you’ll choose to take four classes instead of five. Maybe you have to cut an activity you’re involved in altogether. While these are sacrifices that you’ll have to make, it’s important to put prioritize your health – and constant stress is not good for you mentally, emotionally, physically, or socially. Putting you and your health first does not make you a quitter.
Make sure you’re taking time to relax.
As previously mentioned, it’s important to take time for yourself. Leading a busy lifestyle means that recharging is vital. You can’t possibly go an entire week on hardly any sleep or without doing the activities that you enjoy just for yourself. Take a day to visit a museum by yourself, or grab brunch with some friends. Take a bath. Take time out of your week away from school work, your part-time job(s), internships, and activities to do things just because you enjoy doing them.