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What's it like being able to juggle everything in college?

Since most people take extremely difficult courses, they might have extra curricular's, etc... how might one be able to go on about it? How can they make things easier on themselves? #livinthehardlife

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Allison’s Answer

Hey Keziah,

My advice to you would be to not necessarily look at all the things that could monopolize your time but to try and look at things in pieces. My suggestion would be to think about your time being taken up by five different things, classes, homework, extra-curriculars, fun, and sleep. I'll warn you now, you will need to prioritize what is important to you, because you are going to have to constantly juggle those five things. Unless you know what is important from the get go, you can very easily find yourself in a situation you don't want to be in.

It is all about moderation and knowing what is a priority for you. For instance, if academics is the most important to you, you wouldn't want to take on demanding extra-curriculars or load up on the fun. If before every choice you make, you ask yourself does this align with my priorities? Your priorities can change as well. I had friends in college that walked on to sports teams and made that their priority. I had other friends who started as college athletes and then stopped playing sports to focus on academics. I look at how I made choices throughout my college career, and my priorities changes as well, sometimes on a daily basis.

Looking back on my college experience, I was able to juggle my school work, being in a sorority, sleeping, and going on ski trips (I went to school in Colorado). There were plenty of times where I sacrificed a ski trip to study for a test or didn't attend a sorority function so I could finish a project. I made school my priority and when I was deciding how to spend my time, I always thought about school first. There were times though, when my course load was a bit lighter, and I was very comfortable with my grades and was able to focus more on the fun. Things get sticky and get hard to manage when you jump into college and want to do everything without have priorities. Students sign up for a ton of clubs, play intramurals, stay up late partying, try to catch up on sleep, and then fall behind on their classes. Know that it is impossible to do everything in college, unless you can function on no sleep.

College is amazing in that it gives you a million opportunities from quidditch club, ski club, sports, parties, new friends, interesting classes, and many more. The hard part is narrowing down what you can handle. When you start off, start slow. Don't sign up for everything right away. Make a list of possibilities and then sign up for a few and constantly reassess what is working and if you can add more. Keep in mind that school gets harder from Freshmen year to Senior year. If you can't handle the load during your Freshman year, you probably will need to drop some things or get more efficient as you move through your college career. Juggling a lot of activities is hard, but juggling just a few really important ones is definitely doable

Allison recommends the following next steps:

Figure out what you (and what the people paying for college) want out of you attending college. Is is Academics? Athletics? Networking? or is it something else?
Once you have the top priority, what are some of the other things you want out of college? Make a list of what else you want out of college and prioritize the list.
Practice making choices based on your priorities and think about the choices you make currently. You already make similar choices on a limited basis and with your parents help while you are still in high school. For example, you probably won't go out with friends the night before a test, instead you will study and go to sleep early.