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It’s almost finals season and school is starting to pick up. During college, it’s really hard to make time for everything you want to do: cooking, cleaning, going out with friends, and doing your hobbies…all while maintaining your grades and getting a degree. For a long time, I thought that I didn’t have time to do all of this. I’ll be honest, I don’t have time most days to do everything on the list. The list is endless and time is finite. You start working on your essay only to realize that it’s 11:59. You hang out with your friends and 5 hours feel like 5 minutes. I am a junior in college now, and I’ve had my fair share of semesters that I can only describe as “disappointing.” I made great grades in my classes, but was still disappointed because it was unfulfilling. Needless to say, I’ve also learned a good amount of lessons, which I can now share!

Everything, Everwhere, all at Once

I’ve already kind of hinted at this concept, but basically, don’t try to do too much in one day. During my sophomore year, I tried really hard to hang out with friends, workout, and do all of my work in a singular day. I think that I thought that I could do it all if I really wanted to. About halfway through fall semester, I was feeling burnt out. I was then hit with a personal tragedy that made me realize that I was actually abusing my body. The way I expected to do everything was unfeasible, but when I didn’t check all of my boxes for that day, I felt like a failure. I kept thinking to myself, why do I never have enough time?

I realized that I put way too much on my plate. More than that, I based my self-worth on what I could do…how I could achieve the “perfect lifestyle.” I never prioritized self-care, or even took time to give myself a break.

11:59 pm deadline

Personally, I hate 11:59 deadlines. I hate waiting until the last minute and I hate knowing that I could potentially wait until 11:59 pm. It deflates my motivation to get any work done during the day, but at the same time, it’s hard for me to work late at night. I don’t think that my body was built to stay up until midnight. I often get a lot more sleep and feel more refreshed if I wake up early and go to sleep early. It doesn’t always work out for someone who wants to live a college lifestyle, though.

Personally, I recommend trying to at least get things done a day early. That way, if your Wi-Fi goes out, or your submission portal stops working, you aren’t dependent on the whims of a teacher who may or may not feel like giving you an extension.

Merging priorities

A lot of advice that I got early on in college was that I needed to prioritize. I needed to prioritize school above everything. I needed to figure out my priorities and stick to them. Some of this was true. However, I think that a more accurate piece of advice is this: find out what your priorities are and try to merge them with other things on the list.

My friends are hugely important to me, but I was scared to admit this because I didn’t want to seem like an airhead. However, if I was truly honest with myself, the days that I couldn’t see my friends were the days that I was the unhappiest. I learned that the best way for me to accomplish the things that I wanted to do is if I tried to do them with my friends. For example, if I wanted to work out one day, it would be easier for me to do if I invited a friend along. I’ve invited friends to cook with me, to study, and to just do general hobbies. It’s made life a lot more fulfilling to try and add the things that are most important to me together,

I may never be able to get all of the boxes on my to do list checked, but I am a lot happier now than I was when I stretched myself so thin. I had to be honest with myself and my limitations. I also needed to realize what I wanted and needed most in my life. If you are never satisfied and never feel like you have enough time, you probably are doing things out of obligation, not because you really want to. The moral of this story is that in order to make time, you really just have to make the most of it.

Abby Raffo

South Carolina '24

Family, friends and fun make me happiest! But, I also love dogs, writing and cooking. I am a strong believer in equality for everyone, no matter their background :)