Perfecting Your Balancing Act
Written by: Sharon Simpson for Student Choice
During my senior year of college, I worked 25-hours a week in our financial aid office, planned my wedding (which happened to be the day before my graduation), served as an officer in my sorority and was president of an on-campus club. This was the beginning of my family nickname: the overscheduler! However, I learned a lot that year about how to juggle multiple priorities.
Do the work first.
I can hear the words of an old boss of mine very clearly: “You have to pay to play.” This is the same idea that I try to impart to my kids as they constantly look for ways to spend more time playing video games or watching funny YouTube videos in lieu of doing their homework or household chores. Back in my school days, there was a method to my madness. I found that if I got my course work knocked out early in the day, I had time to go out and experience the really fun parts of college life.
Know when to say when.
I ended up having to go “inactive” or take a semester off from the sorority my last semester as there were literally not enough hours in the day. I also had to trim back some of my other activities to focus on higher priority items. Saying “no” can be difficult to do, but knowing when it is required to preserve your sanity or just keep you at the top of your game is important. This is true not just during your college years, but throughout life.
Make time for the good stuff.
One of my favorite memories from college was a rock climbing day trip in the desert. It was totally spontaneous as a friend of mine saw me in the cafeteria that morning and mentioned they had an extra spot open. I had never been before and it was totally outside of my usual activities and my normal group of friends. It was an absolute blast. I may have broken rule #1 a bit, but sometimes you have to make room for the unexpected!
Over the years, I have learned that achieving a perfect balance (or at least keeping a perfect balance) is pretty close to impossible. As you try to find the best path for yourself, remember that life is a balancing act that is always shifting. You may need to adjust, re-adjust, and then re-adjust some more. I know that I still am!
Bonus tip – don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you need a little help balancing the financial side of life, give your local, not-for-profit credit union a call. You can find one nearby using the tool below.