Learn to Say NO.
To answer this question candidly, start off by saying NO. It’s as simple as that. Being in college is an extremely stressful, but rewarding experience. It is week 8 and I am currently rushing to enjoy every second of the semester by signing up to go to all those society events and going on loads of nights out, but my body is saying no. I learned that I need to say no to going out and fueling my body with alcohol. Yes, there is the worry of feeling like you’re missing out if you don’t go, but there is no point in going if it will put you in a bad mood, make you tired or stressed.
We also have to learn to say no to working too much. You may get glares from your boss and co-workers for not doing that extra shift or begrudging glances because you have a social life separate from work. But…you have to look after yourself because no one else is going to do it for you. Some people cannot afford the privilege of saying no to working or extra shifts however if this is the case, you have to show up but you could cut back on another aspect of your day.
This is also hard because lecturers tell us that you need to prioritise college over work but how are some people able to afford to pay for college, pay for rent, food, bus fare and the list goes on and on. If you have a hectic work schedule and you need to be there, you can hardly cut back on your college work but, you can set limits. Time-block some space for college work and, after that, turn off for the day. Once you have done what you intended that day, you can say no to any more.
A personal encounter with this happened when I stopped and thought, everyone else can work and go to college at the same time, why can’t I do it? I work till 2 am and have to go to college at 9 the next day. This is incredibly draining for anyone. In an attempt to create balance, I turned to my boss, after having dropped about a million drinks, to say that I can’t work weekdays when I have college. I can’t work more than 2 days a week. I felt empowered, I was taking control of my life and saying no when I could. If you can cut back on any commitments, work or otherwise, do it. Listen to how you are feeling and make changes accordingly!
Accepting things the way they work out.
I have signed up for loads of societies, gone to loads of AGMS, ran for first-year rep for every society but have got nothing. I believe things happen for a reason. Sure there is disappointment in not getting a position or spot on something you wanted but, it is not a personal attack. If there is one thing I have learned in college so far it’s that society teaches us to try and challenge ourselves, which is very important, but we need to strive for things in moderation. Otherwise, we can become consumed with too much responsibility and reach the point where we just burn out. So, if you don’t get that role you wanted, or accepted to the program you were hoping for, take it as a sign that whatever you wanted might have been work overload. Sometimes we cannot see the unbalance between our work and life until these things happen and we step back and look.
It is so important to make time for the things that you enjoy. Reward yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. We cannot physically be always on the go and it is draining when one part of life takes over. Hustle culture can make us think that we need to always be on the go, but that is not the case. Work hard in moderation. Rest when needed. Even if that’s just watching Netflix in bed…not everything you do has to be associated with your CV!