Being a student is tough! There are SO many things to stay on top of. Beyond the actual curriculum, we are expected to be involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering engagements, family commitments, social gatherings, and much more.
After being a high-level student-athlete for 17 years, I would like to believe that my experiences with adversity and time management have given me the wisdom to share a little advice on this topic:
First thing’s first, remember that your energy is limited. If you are an overachiever or a perfectionist (like me), then this might be a hard concept to grasp. But, it’s an important one. We simply cannot give our all, to all the things, all the time. One way that I have learned to set this boundary for myself is by separating my daily To-Do list into “Must Do’s and Can Do’s”. This allows me to prioritize my tasks, increase my self-awareness, and ensure that I am not spreading myself too thin.
Next, remind yourself that rest is productive. You simply cannot perform at your best when you are not feeling your best. Instead of forcing yourself to study or get that assignment done when you can’t even keep your eyes open, (if the deadline is not tomorrow) take a break, take a nap, and come back to it when you feel ready. Try to set your schedule up in a way that allows sufficient rest and recovery time, whatever that means to you.
Lastly, your daily habits are the secret to your success. This doesn't mean that you have to wake up at 5 am, drink your green juice, and live the “that girl” lifestyle. It simply means that you have the power to make choices that align with whatever it is that serves you best, each day. Feeling motivated? Use that energy to get your work done. Having a hard time? Lay in bed and watch Netflix. Struggling to study by yourself? Go to the library with friends. We can make choices to ensure that we are meeting our commitments while also taking care of ourselves. Balance is key.
Also, slow it down! Enjoy the little things. Try new experiences. Make memories. Because these are the moments that you will remember. Good luck on your journeys, and remember to make your mental health a priority!