I have a disease. I swear by it. Something in between a sniffle and a serious case of not understanding, or wanting, to say no. I think I get this from my mother, but I think it may actually be from my grandmother. Whoever it is from, it serves as an awesome strength and a terrible weakness all at the same time. This year it is the absolute worst.
I have such a passion for being involved at Bryant that I literally cannot help myself. Whether it is something I actively seek out like working for The Amica Center and bookstore or something I am nominated to join like MyPath and the Senior Class Gift Committee, I just continually seek out new opportunities and enthusiastically say, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to everything and anything. I am a student, a friend, a girlfriend, a sister, a mentor, a student worker, a leader, a social media guru, and a writer on campus. I balance seven different “hats”, take five demanding courses, apply for jobs on a weekly basis, am a big sister to my little sister, am an (AWESOME) girlfriend to my lovely boyfriend, am a girly girl when I am in the house with my five other housemates, am a blogger, find time to call my parents, and yes, I do find time to let loose a little bit. All of this really hit me tonight when I received an e-mail from a good friend who is Co-Chair on the Senior Class Gift Committee asking me to join him and two others as Co-Chair.
One of the last lines is what made me think about how the hell I am balancing it all…”I know this is a crazy year for you and you have a ton going on but we thought you’d be a good fit for our team…”
Is it weird to think I honestly didn’t believe I had a lot going on? I really didn’t. I continued to actively seek out new challenges I can take on, new adventures, and new roles…because I thought I didn’t have enough. So how am I balancing it? Below I have put down a few of my tips which allow me to truly balance it all, even though I forget to say “thanks but no thanks” sometimes. I hope these help anyone out there who may resemble me:
- Don’t take on new opportunities just because it is a new opportunity (unless you are in a mid-20s crisis and need to start over)
- Strategize your opportunities by asking yourself a few simple questions
- Does this opportunity fit “me”?
- Will I have fun taking this opportunity?
- Will it open new doors for me?
- If I do not take this opportunity, what doors am I closing?
- Only take opportunities which you have a passion for.
- Understand time management-if the opportunity clashes with an opportunity you are already pursuing, let it go..a new one will come!
- Don’t be afraid to say “No.”
- Still working on this one…
- Make time to breathe
- Literally, make time for Yoga-It’s a promised breather.
- Don’t take away time from your loved ones
- Make a weekly schedule to get organized and stick to it
Learning how to balance it all has been an amazing experience for me and will one day help out tremendously. However, understanding when to say no is beginning to form a weakness. Once in a blue moon, I do become mentally and emotionally drained. This is typically when you will find me cuddled in my blankets for a 20-minute nap which turns into three hours.
So, yes, I have a serious disease. But I don’t want to exactly find a cure for it yet. I am totally embracing my senior year and every opportunity that is opening up for me. I have worked so hard my previous years that all of this just seems like a whole lot of fun. Guarantee by the end of next week, I will be placing an 8th hat on my head, and I may fall into a stress-attack for a few hours, and I may ask myself why a hundred times, and I may even tear up when I cannot figure out how to balance it. But that is when I will ask myself if taking this opportunity is strategically going to benefit me, if I have passion for it, if I will still find time to breathe and enjoy my loved ones, and if I can manage the time. If I can, then I will be able to look in the mirror and say, “you go girl!”…maybe I should start learning how to say no. My mom calls me crazy for doing so much, but I love it. I’m passionate about it, I have fun with it, and I am in fact balancing it…and forgetting to say “No.” here and there.