Friday, November 20, 2009

So little time...

The keyword nowadays is "balance."

There's work and fun, what's now and what's ahead, this or that, a or b. College throws a lot at you all at once. Now you've got to go get your own food (though not necessarily make it), do your own laundry, get what you need from the store, get yourself to bed and out of it. Then there are all the events on campus - anything from speakers and lecturers to student organization events and shows. A lot of students, including myself, have a part-time job to contend with as well, and that's all on top of the homework and classes that are a daily part of life.

So...how to do it all?

Well, what I've learned so far is that a lot of times you CAN'T do everything. I was disappointed that I had to miss a few marches and rallies, and there have been quite a few club meetings that I've been unable to attend, but I always had something more pressing that needed to be done. Usually it'll be a big paper or a test the next day, or just an abnormally large amount of reading, but in the end I've had to make sacrifices to get my schoolwork done. And trust me...giving up a day of fun is much better in the long run than a day of fun and a week of panic.

"Gee Collin," you say, "it sounds like there's NEVER any fun to be had."

"Now wait," I reply. "That's not true at all." First of all, schoolwork can fluctuate. You may have a stressful week, followed by an easy one, followed by half that's stressed and half that's smooth sailing. It can depend on your courses, but it can also depend on being able to sit down and get something done. Getting ahead on two of my essays was probably one of the best things I could have done for myself, because even though I was cooped up for a day or two, this past week has been a breeze. And what has that done for me? It's let me have FUN.

But of course, it wasn't this way overnight. Not by a long shot. And while I'm still working out my time management skills, I'm slowly getting better. Some tricks I've found that work for me:
  • Get ahead on some work during the weekends. Instead of a Sunday crunch, do a little work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Usually you'll be able to finish Monday's homework AND get some of Tuesday's done!
  • Balance out your days. You may have a super busy day, but if it's a day when you don't have time to take a break, then it means you need to take a break. Go listen to a speaker, take a short nap, or peruse Youtube. It'll keep you sane and going.
  • Exercise. I can't stress it enough. Use the gym, join a sport, participate in martial arts club. Do something that gets you up and active! It's probably the best stress-reliever for almost any college student.
  • Never skip meals. Never ever.
Everybody's different, so you'll probably find your own way of dealing with things. Just remember that college isn't always work, nor should it be. You're allowed and encouraged to have fun...just so long as you make sure it's balanced, and that you don't end up trading a night of laughs for a whole lot of stress.