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How can I find a proper school/life balance and improve the areas where I am lacking?

I am currently a 2nd-year student at CUNY Baruch College studying Marketing. I am still unsure if I picked the right major but some aspects interest me. I desire to improve my communication skills and time management because I have been struggling and I want a clearer sense of direction.

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Melissa’s Answer

This question truly resonates with me!

Maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life is crucial, even for adults. My suggestion is to streamline your thoughts, tasks, and responsibilities in a manner that suits you best. Once you discover your own unique system, you'll master the art of multitasking and bring order to the chaos.

I'm not just an individual with a full-time job, but also a successful part-time entrepreneur, an active community volunteer, and a devoted friend and family member.

For me, the most effective method to keep everything in check is using a single calendar. Remember, it's perfectly alright to establish boundaries - you're not obligated to agree to every request that comes your way. It requires consistent effort to set priorities and establish equilibrium, but it's absolutely vital for your mental well-being.
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Julie’s Answer

Hi and above ideas are great such as go to college Career Center, Toastmasters, lists! This is a common issue and we all faced it at one time and/or still do! What works will come to you with time. I would add to talk to others you admire, such as teachers or a career counselor or a Senior you know, and see how they have learned or what advise has worked for them. I have found this invaluable. Everyone is busy so you could first try asking that person(s) first if you could 'schedule' 20 mins of their time. Hope this helps and remember, the struggle is real and solutions are there but may take a bit of digging. Oh, and make time for some self-care/quite time for yourself, whatever that means to you.
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Bianca’s Answer

Hi there,

This is so common, so first and foremost don't worry! It's normal in college to not be sure as to whether or not your major is the right one for you. I chose marketing partly because of how many doors it opens in terms of jobs! You learn so many valuable skills in marketing and they can be applied to a whole host of careers!

I second the toastmasters recommendatoon, I have friends who did toastmasters to also improve their confiendence in their communcation and public speaking.

In terms of time management and work life balance, it's a skill to be learned as well! I've learned a few things that have helped me improve my time management:
1. Setting boundaries. Not just with others but with yourself. You have to know what you have the time for to begin with and plan around your priorities.
2. Lists! Lists are so helpful, it doesn't have to be anything fancy, but for me, being able to visualize how much work I have or what's on my calendar helps me realistically plan my day ahead. Even if its just uni work, write all that you realistically have to do for the day and take a minute to think how you can make it happen. My cousin told me he used to treat university like a 9-5. He would work and study from 9-5 and after that he would prioritize other things. Of course everyone's schedules are different but try and remember that you need to focus on what works for you.

Goodluck, let me know if you have any questions!
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J’s Answer

I am currently a 2nd-year student at CUNY Baruch College studying Marketing. I am still unsure if I picked the right major but some aspects interest me. I desire to improve my communication skills and time management because I have been struggling and I want a clearer sense of direction.

Finding the right major and attending to improvement areas that you have identified shows that you are able to evaluate situation and to reach out to gain more information to either tweak what you are doing or change your course. These are valuable skills to have!

Given that you know the parts of marketing that you like, it might be helpful to take those things and "marry" them with other areas of interests. For example, a person may like the fact that marketing can draw people to a product. A person might like the research component of marketing, but no like the corporate aspect. Perhaps this person, in this example, may like using marketing skills to help people understand the impact of food insecurity. So, if the person wants to help vulnerable populations, this might be a way to do so.

To improve communication skills and time management - reach out to your career services department on campus. They may provide workshops on communication and time management. Also, the study skills center on many campuses offer time management workshops. The other thing, which you may have already done, is look at YouTube videos on time management and communication -- many videos are very good with sound advise. Also, you can take a course, if available, on communication or join a Toastmaster's group: https://www.toastmasters.org/

Finally, do not forget to ask and go to individuals who are invested in your education - your instructors, and advisors.

I hope this helps.
Best wishes,

J
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Amanda’s Answer

Knowing where you could use some help shows great self-awareness, and it will help you in the future! You'll find times in life post-college where you also will want to manage your time, so the skills you learn now will continue to help you.

From a time management perspective, the suggestions to work with your career office are great. I also find that simple lists help me - getting it all down calms my brain. It may also be useful to ask some of your friends how they do it, I've learned systems from different people that I've been able to use in my own life.

As for whether marketing is the right path for you - it's a great major in that it will strengthen your strategic thinking as well as your writing skills, which are skills important in any career. There are many different paths you can take within marketing, so consider what appeals most to you - is it creative? Is it data? Strategy? Consider adding some classes or other experience that might strengthen a specific path so you can combine it with your marketing major.

Good luck!
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Karen’s Answer

It took me a while to balance work and outside-of-work. When you're new to a job it's common to do whatever your managers ask to make a good impression. But with experience you learn to set boundaries. This is also common when your home life changes - marriage, children, taking care of aging parents, etc. It takes courage to say no when it might risk your job. But good managers will understand your boundaries and work with you to fit your schedule and needs.
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Alisa,

It's absolutely fantastic that you're diving into your passions and simultaneously striving to elevate your abilities! The field of marketing is vast and filled with diverse career paths, so it's completely natural to feel a bit unsure at times.

I too shared your aspiration to boost my communication skills during my college years. To fulfill this, I immersed myself in as many public speaking courses as possible, and also became an active member in clubs and organizations that were not only connected to marketing, but also provided me a platform to interact with a wider circle beyond my immediate friends.

When it comes to managing your time effectively, my top suggestion is to make a daily habit of jotting down your tasks. This simple act can greatly assist you in visualizing your responsibilities and ultimately aid in setting your priorities straight.

Wishing you all the best on your journey! :)
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