The expectation at American University is that we as students must study, work, intern, go out and get some sleep all at once. But with a hectic schedule at times it can be hard to create that work life balance. As a senior with some perspective, and as a student that at one point in time didn’t have it all together, I am here to tell you how to spend 24 hours a day, 8 for work, 8 for sleep and 8 for play.
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There’s a lot expected out of an American University student. Most of the people I know are full-time students holding down one or more jobs/internships. It’s not just the fact that they are busy, but that they are busy excelling with each role they have. Student, employee, intern, coworker… the list (and pressure) goes on.
One of the things I’ve found that has helped me get through this very busy and demanding semester is my organizational skills. I’ve always been fairly organized, but this semester has definitely given me ample opportunities to sharpen and refine those skills. Planning ahead, being proactive, managing my time, knowing when I’ll be where doing what – those are all crucial to staying afloat when one has (almost) too much going on.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of one role and let the responsibilities the other roles require to fall to the side. It’s never a good idea to focus more on the role of an intern at the cost of the role as a student (or vice versa). That’s why being organized is key. People have different ways of staying organized (planners, to-do lists, calendars synced to smartphones, etc) but how you stay organized doesn’t matter. The most important part is that you are organized; then everything will become that much more manageable and – dare I say it – sometimes, almost easy. The best part is that organizational skills are transferable and can always be put to use, so developing and refining them can never hurt!
If you’re going to work on a high-pressure environment, especially one that requires constant deadlines both avoidable and not, you’re going to need to learn a few basic skills. And while I’m pretty sure I haven’t learned all of those lessons myself, I can definitely tell you what I’ve been expected to do. Who knows, it may apply to you, too.