Hello! I'm Ramona, the managing editor of Youth Mind, an online magazine created for the youth, by the youth.
I'm also a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a student in their final year of the journalism program at Sheridan college. Clearly, I'm busy.
Being busy is nothing new to me. I remember taking part in three to four extracurricular activities a week since I was in elementary school. I used to also work and volunteer in local initiatives when I was pursuing my undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo several years ago. I know some of you are in the same boat, and feel daunted by your school and work situation. How do I manage to do all of these things, let alone do them well? While it was daunting for me (and can still be, at times), I've learned so much about myself and what I should prioritize. I hope what I have to share helps you, in any way. I learned not to be overwhelmed by the workload by focusing on short term goals. The first step I would do is write everything out on a calendar and planner. Then I would focus on weekly goals. And then I would write a to-do list for the things I needed to finish for each day. Breaking it down like this always eased my mind. I see this approach similar to chiseling a sculpture. It may not seem like you're doing much at first, but after some time, you realize that you've created a masterpiece, or in your case, you realize that you've managed to finish all of those assignments, tasks for your job, extracurricular, etc. I also learned when to ask for help. It's OK to ask for reasonable support or extensions for an assignment. That way your levels of stressed are reduced and you'll be able to learn more. Lastly, I learned what to prioritize and what to say "no" to. The most effective method of making sure you don't feel overwhelmed is to not commit to tasks that you don't have the energy or time for. Saying "yes" to too many things ends up being bad for both you and the people who were relying on you to get something done. It's better to be aware of what and how much you can take on. This might take years to master. I would suggest going with your gut feeling when you're asked to perform a task. If you're not 100 per cent willing to do it, then say "no," or provide alternate solutions, like a later deadline to get the task done.I cannot emphasize this enough — learning about yourself and how much you can take on can take years. Even now, as I'm pursuing another program and working, I realize I should take my own advice. I know though that just starting to be mindful of these things have helped me significantly. I hope what I've learned has help you in any way. You are also more than welcome to read our content in Youth Mind, to learn more about how to maintain wellness and your mental health during this significant period. Our health section is probably one of my favourite sections of the magazine. I encourage you all to check it out! Feel free to also let me know what you do to maintain your wellbeing while balancing work, school, and other commitments in the comments below! Wishing you the best,Ramona