Up until college, for most young adults it’s just about working hard in school in order to get into your top pick university and creating memories with friends. Focusing on grades and a social life; sounds like a dream. It used to be the same in college too – just grades and a social life. But now, it’s a whole different story. The competition is tough out there and getting a head start with building your professionalism is a must in order to hang in there with the rest.
That’s a lot for one to handle though. And I really understand the struggle. I’ve been juggling work, school and a pretty active social life since high school. Let me be clear though – I’m not going to sit here and tell you my story of how I have it all figured out. The balance between all the above is HARD and I’m still figuring it all out. I just want to share what has worked for me.
First off, when trying to master the balancing act, it’s all about prioritizing everything. We shouldn’t have to pick and choose; we want it all and we should be able to have it all. And having it all is definitely possible, all you need is to figure out what’s more important in the moment and a little balance. Finding balance comes in many different shapes and forms but it’s all about what works best for you in the end.
Make Sure You Sleep
You have to take care of you. That should always be the number one priority. And before the gym, eating right and all of that you NEED sleep. Sleep is such an important factor for a properly functioning body so you have to always try to get that in. That paper you have to do finish, that resume you need to update and those late night WAWA runs are all important in the moment but you have to sometimes take the loss for some Z’s. It’s all about scheduling your time wisely so that you have the time to get what you need done and also get a good night’s sleep. And that sometimes means having to say no to certain events and that’s okay. I know the FOMO exists on both professional and social aspects but you can’t go to everything and be everywhere all the time. Your body needs to rest to be on the go and conquer the world so you have to give your body the time to do that.
Invest in a Good Agenda
You can ask my brothers about this one. The agenda you use is everything. A lot of the free agendas we get don’t have the space needed to write down everything that’s going on so it’s really worth it to spend that $10 at the beginning of each fall semester on a nice spacious planner. And you can’t just buy the agenda then forget about it. Really make it a habit to write down what you need to do at the beginning of everyday (or even at the beginning of each week and then just add things that come up). Doing this really helps with staying on top of everything. And as time goes by it becomes more and more satisfying to check off tasks once they are completed!
My personal recommendation: Blue Sky Weekly/Monthly Planner – You can find them at Target 🙂
Find Low Maintenance Friends
Making new friends in college can be challenging. They may not have the same classes as you so sometimes the only option is seeing them outside of class and it takes time to get comfortable with new people so you can’t always just opt for a night in with your new bud. Honestly it’s like dating and it’s very time consuming in the beginning before it gets comfortable. That’s why I’ve found it beneficial to keep connections with people that I’ve met who seem to skip the ‘dating’ phase. They understand that you’re your own person and are totally okay with the fact that you may only see each other once every week or two. Sometimes this is just what you need. New friendships are fun but they can take a lot of time. Finding people who love and support you without the need for constant contact could be just the thing to destress the social aspect of your life.
Mix It Up
Don’t be afraid to mix the social, professional and school related aspects of your life together. It doesn’t always need to be strictly business or pleasure all the time. Next time there’s a networking event that interested in going in bring along a friend who’s in a totally different discipline! You never know who they could meet and the both of you can spend time together catching up and meeting new people which can be really fun. Also, if you’re the type that doesn’t mind company when studying, have a study date! It doesn’t even need to be with someone in your major. You could take turns quizzing each other, take breaks to make fun snacks And when it comes to school, whenever you get the freedom to pick a topic for a project or paper, make it about the field you’re aspiring to be in. You could learn a lot more about said career choice or even create something that could be shown to a future employer one day. It’s a smart move to use your time wisely and by implementing some of these strategies in your life you can save time but still come out on top.
These are only some little tricks I’ve learned throughout my life for balancing everything that’s going on. It’s constant work though. It’s easy to forget about other things when your future is so dependent on your professional life and school. But I’ve come to learn that you need to take the time to add some fun to the experience and just your best to make time for it all.