We talk with a lot of students in University Exploration. Like, A LOT. We talk with even more students in the weeks in between semesters. Those talks often focus on what went right last semester, what didn’t work so well, and ultimately, how to move forward to make the next semester the best one yet.
In our talks with students who had some difficulty, the biggest obstacle that seems to be encountered is time. There never seems to be enough time! And it’s easy to understand why: between going to class, studying, keeping up with assignments, staying in contact with the folks back home, sleeping and keeping up your social life, 24 hours really isn’t much to accomplish everything you need to do in a day. As a result, a lot of students will push some parts of their to-do list to the side.
When you start to neglect essential parts of your student life (academics, rest, socializing, eating, etc.) you will find yourself out of balance. And once you’ve gone over that tipping point, it’s difficult to get that balance back. Maybe you gave up on studying a few too many times to go out with your friends, and suddenly your grades are slipping. This is a big imbalance to your life as a student! To fix that, you may have decided that you will then spend every waking moment of your life outside of class in the library, only to find that your grades aren’t improving like you hoped. Now you’re feeling the symptoms of burn-out and are lacking even more of that all-important work/life balance.
So, how do you do set up your schedule to keep and maintain that balance? Think of the Pickle Jar:
It is really easy to lose focus of everything we have to do to get through our day, and when you are a student your academics can be the first thing you put aside. Think of the pickle jar any time you feel like you’re overwhelmed with your schedule and it just might remind you to think of the big picture!