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How can I balance my time?

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How can I balance my time between after school activities and my academics? I’m involved in only 2 school related clubs but I feel as though that’s not enough in order to make myself stand out in a college application. I want to be more involved in other clubs but my main concern is that I’ll have less time to study and focus on my academics. Is there any tips and tricks that have helped any of you ? What’s a good way to balance my time?
#time-management #college #college-advice

Hi Ana! I think part of your question was answered here: https://www.careervillage.org/questions/26131/what-is-a-good-way-to-manage-your-time Abby Lupi Translate
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7 answers

Stephanie’s Answer

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Feeling overwhelmed often happens when a task seems too big to conquer. Many years ago, a mentor asked me this question, "How do you eat an elephant?" The answer is, "One bite at a time." The point he was making is that if you can break seemingly large tasks into smaller (less intimidating) pieces, eventually you will be able to eat that elephant! Yours may be a simple case of not taking on anymore responsibility than you feel comfortable with. That may mean that you don't attend every meeting, or participate in every each even that your organizations hosts. It doesn't mean that you're any less passionate or any less of an asset to any organization you are a part of. You may simply need to re-allocate your time.

I will also offer you this. It is better to hold a leadership position in a single organization than it is to be a member of several organizations. Your leadership experience will have a far greater impact on your application than a list of all the clubs you've ever been a part of. If there is an organization about which you feel particularly strong, give it your all and don't be afraid to let the other ones go. A position of leadership will likely require a significant amount of time so even though you may only be involved in one organization, you may find that you're putting in just as much (or more) time than if you were involved in multiple extracurricular activities. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck. You're already ahead of the game.

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Megan’s Answer

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2 clubs may be fine for you depending where you want to go to school, although, it does not hurt to try out for another club. Create a schedule for yourself in a planner or on a calendar. The tasks you have to do will seem easier when you break it all down. If you end up feeling overwhelmed and your grades start to drop or you are finding less time to study then consider a change in your schedule and/or pace. When I was in high school, I would study whenever I had the chance. If I only had 5-10 minutes before my club started, I would pull out my homework and get a small portion of it done so I wouldn’t stay up all night working on it. If it becomes too overwhelming, you may want to talk to the club leaders or teachers and ask if you can get in extra study time in. Usually the teachers and leaders of the club(s) are reasonable.

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Jamie’s Answer

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You do not need a laundry list of extracurricular involvements - colleges want to see students with a passion/passions that they get involved in and commit to (and possibly have a leadership role in). Having a couple of long-term involvements that speak to your interests and passion is important (this should match your application info and possibly your choice of major you are applying to). A leadership role can be helpful. Sometimes things count that you don't think about - if you work, take care of siblings, shadow a professional, volunteer your time in almost anyway and/or take classes elsewhere you should include these things in your app/involvements. Your extracurrics will not matter much if your grades suffer because of them. I have been providing college counseling for well over a decade and hope this helps. Do the best you can - that is all you can do!

Jamie recommends the following next steps:

  • Figure out what you are interested in pursuing in college (major and other activities) and how you want to (and plan to) present yourself in your college app and get involved in things related to this - your passions and interests.
  • Use a daily planner to schedule and manage your time.
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Richard’s Answer

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Two clubs should be enough. Don't distract yourself too much. The extra curricular activities are always a bonus but most schools have a minimum standard of grades and standardized test scores they require.

That said, my only time management advice is: Treat school like a job. Get up early, get to work and when your work is done at the end of the day, you can spend time on social life or organizations.
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Maryam’s Answer

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Do not fill your plate to the point that you feel overwhelmed by activities. 2 to 3 good clubs that demonstrate your academic ability / devotion to community will shine brighter than 12 mediocre clubs. If you can find clubs that have there "on season" during different times then that would be ideal. I was in debate, science olympiad, newspaper, and yearbook but they did not all coincide in the same timeframe.

Maryam recommends the following next steps:

  • Make a schedule of meeting times of different clubs
  • Choose 3 clubs that you find interesting, and will stand out on your resume
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Danya’s Answer

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You can do anything you can set your mind to! Overwhelm is common in college, even without extra activities. Try blocking out your time to be more productive. It helps you to space out your time and schedule in productive spurts, that way you get more focused work done in less time. See the link for more info. Good luck!

Danya recommends the following next steps:

  • Check this link out on time blocking: https://m.wikihow.com/Time-Block
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Rachel’s Answer

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You should start college planning to study every day. Don't get behind. Attend your classes. Do the homework. When you find a class difficult, attend office hours early in the semester. If you continue to struggle, get a tutor.

When you are studying every day, the workload is more manageable, and you will have more time to enjoy extracurriculars.
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