The Balancing Act

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Becca Elson
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I wish someone would have told me how important it is to keep up a balancing act in college. In high school, I was hard working so I didn’t expect college to be too different. College is another level of hard work. As you progress in your college career, there are things you must adapt and learn from. I’ve encountered very insightful experiences so far. Freshman year went relatively smooth. I guess teachers know you are a freshman and are willing to give you some slack as you transition. Sophomore year has been a whole different story.

A narrow focus

During the first semester of my sophomore year I started to feel like I was missing out on part of my college experience. I barely had any time to be with my friends, have time for myself, or even give my parents a call. By focusing on trying to maintain a 4.0, I lost sight of the world beyond the classroom. I wish someone would have told me how difficult this balancing act would be.

Making adjustments

This year I have been engrossed in all my major classes. It has been a completely different experience than my general education and prerequisite courses from freshman year. I walked into my three 300 level accounting courses this year to be told the average grade in this class would be targeted at a 2.5-3.0. In high school, I was always a 4.0+ student and being told the average would be a 2.5-3.0 has been a difficult adjustment for me.

Evaluating commitments

On top of school, there is the pressure of being involved in extracurriculars. And not only to be involved in extracurriculars but to take on leadership positions within those organizations. When I went through recruitment, I had no idea how large my commitment to my sorority would be. There are countless meetings, obligations, activities, and on top of that, I am Vice President of Finance. In addition to the sorority, I have also joined business organizations that go along with my major. But now I’m going to try something different. I’m going to focus on organizations that truly encompass my passions and ones I get excited about. I am going to join ICAN (Indiana Canine Assistance Network) to work with service dogs. This will relieve some of the stress of college and allow me to give back to the community.

A new plan

If you are feeling as overwhelmed as I was when I started sophomore year, I caution you to not lose the balance that I lost my first semester. Of course, grades matter and your education matters. It’s why you go to college. But there is a balance to maintain. It is vital to take time for yourself, family, and friends. Adjust your study habits to meet the expectations of challenging classes. Evaluate the commitments you make to extracurricular activities. Think quality, not quantity. Without doing this you can lose sight of what college is all about: learning who you are and who you want to become. It is important to devote your time to things that truly matter. Improving on your balancing act could be as simple as going and spending fifteen minutes with your roommate every night just to catch up and relax.

Students, how do you find a balance between work, school, and fun? Share by commenting below!

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