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Balance in College: Prioritizing Friends, Family, and School and Not Feel Like You’re Drowning

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

It’s not very often that I see a Tik Tok that resonates with me to the point of thinking about it days later. However, a few weeks ago I did exactly that. It was a video of a girl with text on the screen, listing everything she had been trying to balance at that moment. Essentially, this was a run-on paragraph — trying to balance x while trying to balance y. I remember reading it and for some reason feeling like somehow, she so accurately worded how I was feeling. I went on to see about 15 different versions of this Tik Tok and each time having this same feeling. It made me realize how common it is to have this feeling that you are drowning in whatever work, pressures, routines, or expectations that both you and others have of you. 

Personally, whenever something new happens in my life, I struggle to incorporate that with the rest of my life.  Once I get into the routine of working out, school work, and even a job, my ability to add friends, family obligations, and any other hobbies severely declines. Not because these are not things I want to be able to fit into my life, but because there simply are not enough hours in the day. I just always feel incredibly spread thin. A lot of times when I really try to incorporate all of this, I end up feeling like I’m drowning.  

My personal favorite way to deal with all of this is to make a list. I’m talking a list of everything. Not just classes or work, but also dinner, phone time, and even when to call my mom. I make this into a checklist, with rough times throughout the day, and then see where I can add in the extra stuff — time with friends, relationships, and the like.  These things are just as important as anything else, however, sometimes it is just so much easier when you can cross every task off so that it really does feel as though you are chipping away at what needs to get done

While it is great to have the tools to be able to manage everything going on and strategies to balance all of this, it is also necessary to remember that you really do not need to do everything. It is okay if you are not able to shoot that text today, if some emails are left unanswered, or if you did not get around to grabbing that dinner with a friend. You will have a day in which more gaps are found and those things can fit in, but you are not suddenly failing at everything if for some reason not everything in the day gets done. It’s okay to not check off every box and we all really do need to give ourselves some more grace than we do.

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Kethry Milne

U Mass Amherst '24

Rising senior, political science major, coffee enthusiast, run lover and haircare extraordinaire.