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Balancing the Busy Bee Lifestyle By: Jane McConville

I adore staying busy. If I'm not occupied, tasks seem to lack due dates and "to-do" dates, continually

slipping away. Every semester since my freshman year, I have shouldered a 15-18 credit course load, in addition to my involvement in clubs, extracurricular activities, and an on-campus job. By the end of my junior year, I had added two more jobs to my existing on-campus position, creating a whirlwind of a schedule for my senior fall semester. I knew this would be hectic, but I also knew it was the key to my success. While I understand it's not for everyone, navigating the chaos of balancing what feels like 15 tasks simultaneously is my way of getting through a semester. Here are some tips and tricks that have aided me in mastering the art of being a busy college student.

Alone Time: College is an incredibly social time, even when completing coursework. There are group projects, study groups, classmates turned friends, and, of course, roommates and hallmates. While this is great, escaping the chatter and social noise can be challenging. Alone time doesn't have to mean isolation; it can involve sitting at your own table in the dining hall or taking a 30-minute stroll around campus or on a treadmill. Being alone doesn't have to equate to loneliness!

Ask for Help: This may appear daunting, but it's vital in the long run. While not everyone shares the same schedule, and nobody has an identical class or work experience, everyone understands the feeling of being overwhelmed and buried in work. Meeting with professors during office hours, consulting advisors, and simply checking in with friends and family are excellent ways to step back and gain a fresh perspective on your schedule or situation.

Set Aside Time for True Enjoyment: I know, I know—I said I love staying busy, which is true! However, I also make time for the things I love when my schedule is at its craziest. Whether it's watching a movie with my roommates, participating in trivia night at a local restaurant, or visiting the campus movie theater, there's always something to anticipate and strive for during the week.

And lastly, my top tip: Your grades do not define you. It's easy to become consumed by grades, papers, and exams, but I assure you that one poor grade does not mark the end of your college life. Staying busy is fantastic, but not when it serves as a distraction.

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