The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Looking back on my high school years, they felt fairly balanced in terms of productivity. I completed the assignments that I had to, and I completed fun projects in my spare time. However, since the beginning of my college years, there has seemed to be a crack in the balance. Those fun personal projects have to be put aside, whether they are to hang out with friends or to redecorate my living space. There is always just so much to do. In order to complete it all, my time seems to require constant productivity. It gets to the point where this constant productivity ruins the fun of personal projects. Now, they can feel like a waste of time unless there is some sort of “valid” reason behind them. For example, if a friend really wants to hang out with me, and I haven’t seen them for some time, it seems more productive for me to spend time with them. However, if I have seen the friend recently, it seems as though it would be more worth my time to do something else.
It’s just hard. I suppose this is a part of growing up. It takes trial and error to find the perfect balance of anything, including the balance between being productive and having a good time. What has brought this to my mind is the way that I have been feeling for the past few days, which is EXTREMELY unmotivated. I can’t find the energy to check things off my to-do list as it just feels kind of pointless right now. Even though I am usually so productive, who cares? It’s hard for me to name times when people have been grateful for my effort. My effort just tends to get me a score on an exam or a brief amount of gratitude. It can feel as though my effort goes unnoticed or that I put in more effort than I need to. There have been countless times where I have put in more effort than another person only to receive the same outcome as the other person. Again, what’s the point?
Honestly, I can’t answer that question as the answer is probably different for everyone. Is it better to do the bare minimum or to go above and beyond? Some people will tell you to go above and beyond while others will tell you to work smarter, not harder. Maybe it depends on the situation. Maybe your level of effort should depend on your passion for the project. Some say that hard work is rewarded eventually, even if it does not seem like it will be. That mindset tends to stick with me. I believe that if I suffer in the present, then my future will be better. But then I am never happy.
I guess that’s where balance comes back into play. I’ll just have to find it. I’ll have to find ways to enjoy my personal projects without worry, and I’ll have to determine the projects that require more effort of me than others. No one should always have to give 100%. I admire those who strive to always give 100%, I really do. I sometimes even aim to be like those people, but the lifestyle just isn’t logical or healthy. Everyone’s balance can look different. One’s scale may lean a little more towards productivity than fun while another’s may lean more towards fun than productivity. Maybe some have found the best of both worlds and don’t even need a scale. Right now, my scale is teetering. After a nice Thanksgiving Break, hopefully I will be back on track and ready to pursue my passions with motivation.