There is a common misconception amongst university students that you cannot “have it all.” In order to have good grades you shouldn’t go to parties, in order to have a social life you won’t be able to sleep, and if you want to make money on the side your schoolwork will get tossed to the back burner. These are just a few common phrases I hear thrown around by adults and peers alike that I have found to be completely false.
As I approach the middle of my fifth semester at Rowan, I have found more than ever that juggling several passions and lots of projects has not only made me a more efficient person, but a better friend, daughter, and a more grateful human being. I have worked every weekend, been a full-time student and made more friends in the past three years than I ever thought possible. I often get the question of “how do you know someone everywhere you go?” and it’s because I decided that when I got to college, I was going to take advantage of every opportunity in front of me.
I am a lifelong learner, and whether it’s professional or social I wanted to try it all, learn as much as I can about the world, and though I haven’t done every club or tried every single thing on campus, I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone each semester. In doing so I have been able to meet new people, find new passions and interests, and rid myself of routines and pathways that no longer serve the person I hope to be in the future. And at Rowan– there is plenty of opportunity for that. There are constant events on campus, guest speakers, clubs and activities, and people who want to see you and support you doing what you love.
I will say, I consume copious amounts of caffeine sometimes to stay awake, but my mental health has never been better. The past seven weeks I have had the privilege of balancing 30+ hour work weeks at my restaurant job, five classes, two journalism freelancing opportunities, and an editor position here at The Whit. All while finding time to go to the gym, go out with my friends and family, and watch The Phillies.
The other day on my way home I even got a little teary-eyed, even though my day was very long, filled to the brim with meetings, interviews, and classes, I couldn’t help feeling anything but gratitude. How lucky am I, that I have a body capable of doing so much, people around me who are constantly encouraging me, and so many opportunities to live my life to the absolute fullest that I can. In most areas of my life, I am surrounded by people who I care about– who care for me just as much, and for that, I am thankful. It makes the 12-hour shifts easier, a home-cooked meal taste better, and the late nights out that much more fun.
I don’t know when it started, but somewhere along the line I just started telling myself that yes, you can have it all. While burning out is something that I hear others get nervous about, I think that I’ve proved to myself that with good time management and a passion for what you’re doing, there will always be time for the things you want to fit in your schedule. You just need to want it bad enough, and maybe you need to wake up earlier than 10 a.m. to get some work done.
That’s why I think that putting yourself out there and getting involved in as many things as you can is such an important part of college. At the end of the day, when will you have the opportunity to meet and network with so many people your own age? Why not try to get to know as many people as you can. If you’re wondering how to break out of your shell, join a club related to your major or hobby, talk to the people you sit next to in class, go to a party just to see what it’s like– your dorm will always be there when you get back.
I have never been busier than I am now, but I think that makes it’s exciting. When I have that extra night to see my friends or family or go out, I am fully present, letting that time be for having fun and enjoying these moments that I won’t get back, with the people I couldn’t live without.
So, the next time you’re sitting in bed thinking about the things you want to do but “don’t have time for,” try to think about how you spend your time each day. Can you take an hour off of your daily social media scroll, or what about three episodes of New Girl instead of five?
You can have it all– you just need to start believing it. It’s up to you how your “college experience” plays out.
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