So you’ve just snagged that prestigious internship at that big company — but it’s unpaid. You want continue to support yourself, so you get a part-time job. You work so much that you miss your friends, so you start going out again. Wait — you just remembered you had a big project due tomorrow for your English class. What about sleep; how are you ever going to have time for that!? I just described to you a real life situation that many college kids (like me) struggle with every day. No fear; here are some steps to maintain a hectic schedule so you don’t get overwhelmed.
1. Get Your Priorities Straight.
If things get too overwhelming, then it’s time to sit down and reorganize your priorities.
What’s important to you? Is it your internship, your friends, your job, or your school work?
Not everything can be #1 on your list. Weigh the pros and cons of each activity consuming your time and tell yourself, “I will focus on this”. By doing a pros and cons list you’ll be able to put everything into perspective and see which activity will be more beneficial for you, because there’s no use in trying to cram everything into one day if it can’t be done.
2. Time Management.
By now, you’ve probably seen “time management” millions of time. Well, prepare yourself to see it again. Your whole college career revolves around effective time management.
Imagine your day as a big math equation: “If my internship is 6 hours and work is 5 hours, will I still have 3 hours to do my project?” Figuring out a perfect time schedule is essential for time management.
3. Give 100% of Yourself.
There is no point in putting half the energy and half the effort into something if your work is subpar. Employers won’t want to keep you around if you half-ass the work, friends won’t want to hang out with you if you don’t have the energy, and grades will start to look bad if you’re not putting the effort into it. You might think people don’t notice, or that it’s just this one time… trust me, they do.
When you start to get lazy on the job, it turns into a consistent behavior. The best thing is for you to try and focus all of your attention on one thing at a time.
4. Have Time For You.
When your plate gets too full, you might start to lose that sense of self. My advice is to include a time out in your schedule. Make some room for a 2 hour break just to go back to your room and eat, take a nap, listen to music, etc. Your break time is the rare part of the day to do absolutely nothing, so I suggest enjoying it as much as you can.
5. Manage Your Stress Levels.
My last word of advice is to all the readers is to not stress yourself out. Take a breather, do something that will relax you. There are a multitude of ways to manage stress in college. Remember: it’s all about balance. See tip #1.
I know things can get overwhelming at times, but just keep pushing forward. At the end of the day, it’ll be worth it.