What it’s Like Balancing Everything in my Junior Year of College

Yes, it is only my first semester of junior year, and it has barely been a month. But over these short few weeks, I’ve been trying to balance everything up until this point. I say “up until this point” because, honestly, I’m struggling to balance it all as of right now. But nonetheless, I’m still trying. As of right now, I am taking seven classes (one of them is a lab), I have a supervisor job, I am running two clubs, I host a radio show, I’m dealing with shitty mental health and I have art commissions I am currently working on. While all of this is happening, I am currently looking for another job either on or off campus.

The classes I am taking are not easy classes. Six of those classes are Psychology classes, since I am a Psych major and have a Behavior Analysis minor, and one is a Biology class for my Bio minor. With these classes, I am taking one 200 level, two 300 and 400 level classes, and one 500 level class. Three of these classes (PSYC 416, 416L, and 516) are all to finish my Behavior Analysis minor. With this minor, I chose to go the EAB (Experimental Analysis of Behavior) route, since that kind of science has always been an interest of mine and the career has a good pay. For my Bio minor, the BIOL 305 class I’m taking is… something else. Let’s just say, it’s more of a self-taught class. Now, here’s a fun fact: that 200 level class, PSYC 210, is a class I’m retaking because I had a problem with the final paper last year (which is the only reason I’m retaking the class). My other 300 level class, PSYC 310, is one out of two of my favorite classes because a) it’s Cognitive Psychology, the field I want to go into, and b) I’m taking it with one of my favorite professors. My other favorite class is my lab, PSYC 416L, because I get to work with rats. I get to handle them and create bonds with them and it’s the best and most beautiful thing I’ve done this entire semester. When it comes to classes, there is a lot going on, and somehow, I’m managing to not do too horrible in all of them.

Now, we come to my job. This “wonderful” job. Basically, there is an information desk here at MCLA where I started working as a normal employee during my freshman year. When sophomore year came around, I applied to be a Student Supervisor at the booth and was accepted. This is now my second year at the desk as a Student Supervisor. It’s not the greatest job in the world, but I do get paid $12.50 instead of $12.00. The only reason I took this job again was because I thought I was going to have it for three or four months instead of six or eight, since I was planning on studying abroad in January (but that isn’t happening anymore, I’ll explain later). This job is a lot, because not only do I have to work at the booth itself, I have to be on call every weekday after 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. the next day, and all weekend after 9:00 a.m. until it opens again. It also requires me doing extra projects like setting up meetings for everyone, sending emails about timesheets, etc. A job is a job, don’t get me wrong, but it is a lot to handle throughout the week.

Running two clubs is not easy, I’ll tell you that much. But, what makes it somewhat easier to run two clubs is running both of them with another person. While being a Campus Correspondent of Her Campus MCLA with Ellie Craver, I am also running an art club called Art For All with Tessa Langsdale (also an HC staff writer and editor). They make it so that not everything is put on one person. For HC, Ellie and I each have responsibilities that are fair for everyone and we split it based on other responsibilities we have going on outside of HC. We are required to have done 15 hours of HC work a week, but we are reasonable about what we do separately and together. For AFA, while I am still co-running it, it isn’t as high maintenance since it is not an official club yet. Maybe once everything is up and running properly, then things will pick up. I also host a radio show called Almost Everything In Between every Tuesday from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. EST on 91.1 FM North Adams (or it can be streamed at www.mcla.edu/wjjw). This is very low maintenance since I don’t run it and all I have to do for it is make a playlist and host the show.

Now, a little back story about my art. I’ve been doing art since I was 18 months old and have loved it ever since. And since I love it so much, I figured I could make money off of it, and that is currently what I’m doing. People ask for paintings, I do them and they pay me. The process is fairly simple, but getting the commissions out at a reasonable time is my issue. It really depends on what the painting is and how much detail is required for the painting. Either way, it’s worth it because I’m doing what I love and getting paid to do it.

Here is the hardest part of junior year: my mental health as of late has been very bad. While I have all this stress going on from everything I’m doing, I am in a long distance relationship that takes a big toll on me. I also don’t have the best history when it comes to mental health. I have anxiety and depression that just LOVE to hit me at random times, and it’s been hitting me really hard this year. I know why, but that’s for another article. But regardless of how much it is affecting me, I still find a way to push through it. (I know I’m not talking much about my mental health, but that will also be for another article.)

While all of this is going on, I am currently looking for a second job since the one I have already is a work study job. I need to get my finances in order, so this will really help with that. This article was written with a purpose: I have a lot of family members always asking what’s going on in my life and why I never have time to talk. Well, this is why. Because I am often busy with a lot of things and finding a balance between them. Somehow I’m making it work, if only a little.