Making the Balance Work

If you ask anyone to describe my schedule, they will tell probably tell you I’m the busiest person they know. This is all fine and good, but it is a struggle on multiple levels. There are so many things I enjoy doing, that I can’t even do them all anymore. As you get older, you get stuck making harder and harder decisions. Every time you think you’ve made the hardest choice, another one is waiting for you right around the corner. These decisions make us who we are and help us prioritize until we find out what is truly most important to us.

 

Athlete or Musician?

My biggest choice came into play this current school year. I have been in track and band since 7th grade and it has always worked. I’ve bounced back and forth from practice to rehearsal and still had time for my homework at the end of the day. Well, at the end of last year, I joined a local rock cover band which changed the dynamic of my music schedule. It wasn’t just going to symphonic or jazz band rehearsal, it was actually having to travel for rehearsals, get to a venue, play until 1am, come home late, get up early the next day to catch up on homework. My schedule got to the point where my Google Calendar didn’t have enough white space for being on the track team and being a musician. This summer I thought about it every day… So when I came back to campus this fall, I was no longer a member of the track team. I was worried about disappointing people and pole vaulting was a huge part of my life. I have been reassured that my friends and family are proud I’m following my dreams and support me in that decision. I still miss it so much because that was a feeling like no other, but music has been an even bigger part. You never know if the choice is a good fit for you until you start living it. I have felt comfortable in my decision because so many opportunities have come from it. I have now filled in with 4 local bands and have joined an original alt-rock band based out of Cedar Rapids. My dream of being a musician is starting to come full circle and I couldn’t be more excited! This has really helped validate to me that I have chosen a good path for me.

 

Friends and Free-Time?

For me, these two are basically the same thing and that’s how I balance it into my schedule. Make sure the people you hang out with relax you so that you can enjoy it as down time while still getting to spend time with them. That’s how my friends make me feel and I’m so lucky. Getting a text about a girls night brightens my day and I work around every part of my schedule to make it happen. My friends do so much for my mental game because they keep me sane. If I didn’t have them to give me breaks during the week, I have no idea where I’d be at this point. Not only do they help me chill, but they’re also some of my biggest fans. They all helped me settle into my new direction without sports and come to my gigs to support me in my passion. I seriously got so lucky in the friend department!

 

What’s homework?

Just kidding, I promise I get my homework done - but it’s not easy. I find myself easily distracted and always thinking about being somewhere else or planning the future rather than enjoying the present. This makes focusing in class or getting a paper written very trying at times. Whenever I can’t focus, I remind myself why I’m doing it and that if as a future math educator I want to see my future classroom, I’ve got to put the time in now. Since my days are usually pretty full, homework mostly happens in the evenings. If this happens to overlap with that friend time, then we will do our homework together. Sometimes just having company and people in my presence can really help with focus and support which is crucial for getting through the college experience.

Life is ever changing and always moving, so all we can do is try to keep up and make the choices that will ultimately move us toward feeling fulfilled and following our heart the most.

 

HCXO

Alex

 

All pictures provided by: Alex Axup