Dear Busy Bees,
I wish time moved slowly like a day on the beach, but that’s not the case. The older I get, the faster I find time goes. When I was in elementary school, I felt like each year lasted an eternity. Now, I blink my eyes and it’s already the end of the year! I’ve realized that time is going faster as I become busier…and I have a love-hate relationship with that.
Right now, I’m working on finishing my degree, working, getting my health in check, and then a million other small things. It’s added up so quickly that my schedule is complete mayhem.
The lesson I’m learning? Balance.
Since I can remember, I’ve been a perfectionist. I’ll spend hours perfecting homework, work assignments, and other things to make sure I get it JUST right. I went into this school year with that same perfectionist attitude and approach….and let me tell you, it has not worked.
Before I knew it, I was getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night, didn’t see my friends or family (and I live with my family!), and was hardly eating from all the stress I was putting on myself. I was miserable.
I believe that with every difficult experience a lesson can be learned. With this experience, I’m learning how to balance my responsibilities and sanity! Here are two things that I’ve learned.
The perfectionist side of me fights every single part of this, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t give 100% in every area. I have my big priorities or categories. Those categories are school, work, and health. With school, I’m taking four classes. I started by putting equal amounts of time/effort for each class but hit my breaking point after two months of surviving on four hours of sleep a night. At that moment, I took a step back and realized that I needed to make a change.
I decided that I would take study time away from other classes and put that time instead towards classes I was struggling with the most. By making that choice, I traded all A’s for lower grades. However, with that tradeoff, I got my sanity back, more sleep, and a happier bank account that’s not being drained for an endless supply of caffeine just to function.
Lesson: Prioritizing means sacrificing in some area. You need to determine what you can sacrifice based on your own goals. It was a difficult adjustment, but it was worth it.
Work hard, play hard
You’ve probably heard the very infamous phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” from the Shining. Forgive me for using a horror movie quote, BUT taking the “murdery” meaning behind the phrase out, the quote has a good meaning. If all you do is work, life becomes dull. I experienced that this semester when I spent countless hours studying and turning down chances to be with friends. I hit my breaking point when I spent a ton of time preparing for a test and ended up getting a way lower score on it than I had on the first test. That night, I decided I needed to be with friends and take a break from the books.
Since then, I’ve gone out of my way to spend time with my friends and family. Yes, I could be studying, but I’m so much happier now that I have (somewhat) of a social life back. It makes studying easier for me and I can focus better.
Lesson: Everyone has something that brings them joy and helps them to decompress from the stress of life. Whatever that thing may be, make sure you take time to do it. Work hard and play just as hard. It’s not a waste.
Thanks for reading and remember, don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees!