Saturday, October 22, 2011

Balancing on a Tight Rope

Who doesn't like the idea of running away with the circus? A life of travel. A life of performing. A life of freedom.

My talent would be probably be on the trapeze. (In gymnastics, I was always more comfortable doing flips on the trampoline than the spins on the beam.) However, for the purposes of this blog, let's pretend my balance is really something to write home about.

College is like balancing on a tight rope. Imagine you are thousands of feet in the air, one for every dollar you spend on tuition. and you are carrying a bar. (See photo) The weights on each side of the bar need to be balanced in order stay safely on the wire.

You may have a little more wiggle room in college than a thin wire, but the point remains: Students struggle to maintain a balance between academics, athletics, extracurricular, and social lives. We walk the line between boredom and overly involved. We say "I have three hours on Wednesday, maybe I should sign up to volunteer." Half-way through the semester, we realize that while we love volunteering, we need those 3 extra hours for studying, projects, and a nap.

I've been there. I am there. I walk the line. (Spotted: Johnny Cash reference.)

I've been asked on numerous occasions: How do you do it? Why do you do it?

Good questions. The truth is that I don't have a definite answer. I like to think that I have a good self-control and time management. The truth is I am just as prone to get distracted by Facebook and Twitter as everyone else. I am equally as prone to getting sucked into a conversation with my suite mates and avoiding some reading. I believe that trick is using the hour that I can sit and focus to really bust out some work. The work doesn't take too long if I do it distraction free.

From DePaul DeBlogs
The other savior is my planner. It sounds cliched and so easy, but when it comes to scheduling there is nothing better. For really important events like AcaBellas performances and special tour times, I set alarms on my phone that alert me an hour before the event.  Planners let you layout a schedule and also physically cross things off the to-do list. (I recommend crossing out using red pen. It's really satisfying.)

Of course, you can't cross 'have a life' off your to-do list. I'd argue that 'having a life' is one of the most important parts of college. Having a friends  gives you people to talk through your struggles and triumphs with. They are often going through similar stresses or can give advice on handling awkward social situations. If you are a girl, you know there is nothing like a good boy-talk with your closest friends. Some days you just need those. Always make time for your friends whether its a meal or a shopping outing. Make the time.

I can't say it enough. Organization is key.
Have questions about walking the line?


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