So much to do, and so little time. This phrase might as well be the words I wake up to everyday – especially since I’ve started grad school. Before you get scared and decide not to read anymore, I do want to clarify that the “so much to do” is comprised of MUCH more than just school stuff! Columbus has so much to offer and I’m trying to absorb as much as I can while I’m still a student!
One thing I realized this past weekend at a yoga class I’ve been taking is how important striking a balance is (ironically the studio is called Balanced Yoga). To throw in another phrase you’ve heard way too many times, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Yeah, we’re here to learn and develop in the classroom, but there’s so much else we can learn and develop from that you can’t spend all your time studying!
Finding that balance has really helped me out over the quarter. Sure, I work hard when I have to and there have been times that I’ve had to pass up an opportunity to hang out with some friends. But I make sure that I don’t pass up every opportunity. Sometimes, even if you’ve got a test or assignment due the next day, it does a world of good to just go have some fun.
Here’s my recommendations, based on my own experiences so far…
- If there’s something you really want to do – do it. This is particularly important when you’ve got an assignment due the next day and are thinking about skipping out on the activity to work. When I really want to do something but skip to do work, I find that my time is very unproductive. I get distracted thinking about how much fun I could be having. Instead, go do what you want to do, and just make sure that when you get back you’ll work extra hard.
- Try not to get sucked in to time-wasters (social media – with the exception of this blog!). If you’ve got 30 minutes to kill, resist the urge to check Facebook. I’ve always found that there’s something I could work on for 30 minutes. Sure it’s not a lot of time, but the three or four insignificant 30 minute blocks you have throughout the day add up to a solid two plus hours of work.
- Try new things. Sometimes, a new activity or hobby is exactly what you need to keep moving when the work gets tough. I’ve really enjoyed taking classes at the yoga studio, and find myself incredibly relaxed afterwards. I look forward to my Saturday class all week, then always treat myself to a cup of Crimson Cup coffee when I’m done. I usually hang out at the coffee shop for an hour or two as well and do some reading or other “light” homework.
- Don’t skip the basics. After making sure that I was eating healthy, getting exercise, and attempting to get the recommended amount of sleep (I’m still short, but not too far off!), I was amazed by how much easier it was to balance everything when I was following the doctor’s orders. I feel more energized and find it a lot easier to concentrate on getting work done!
- Explore explore explore. Columbus has so much to offer (Blue Jackets Hockey, the Columbus Crew, great concerts) that you’ve hardly got to try to find something that will interest you. Go out and do something extra exciting every now and then!
- Talk to your classmates. They’re definitely experiencing the same balancing act as you are, and I promise you can share tips with each other. They’ll teach you new things, you’ll teach them new things. And, they will probably have some great suggestions on what else to do in Columbus!