Internships, Jobs, Social Life, and Grades, How Do We Handle It All?

It’s that time in the semester when the pressure starts to build up. I don’t know how your week has been, but mine has been filled with exams, essays, and work. While I'm really just trying to stay afloat in the ocean of academics, I'm also attempting to have a social life. These pressures are often felt by every college student, but you may be left wondering: how do we make time for a social and still excel academically?

Where I grew up, everyone was a high achiever. From the time I was little, I don’t remember having a free moment to spare. School was one thing, but I was the kid who tried every sport, danced, and weeded out what didn’t work while focusing hard on what did. I was always the girl who tried their hardest at school, even when it didn’t come as easily to me as it did for some of my friends. All of this, on top being an independent and self reliant individual, just seemed normal to me. I am glad that I was pushed, and that I even pushed myself to be the best I could be, but now I find that am still spreading myself too thin with no time for “me” or time to relax. Sometimes, I even think that I don’t know how to. I have often found myself caught up in pushing myself too hard -- college has a way of doing that to you.

There are so many pressures that college can bring that I wasn’t aware of before. Balancing an academic and social life, while also trying to build your resume can get to be a bit much sometimes. There are so many unrealistic expectations we try to achieve so that we can stand out for jobs or grad schools. Everyone has their own unique set of values they hold in their studies, organizations, and social lives, but this pressure is not healthy.


Competition is healthy, but there comes a point where life is more than just achieving the most you can, which is what our current society tries to tell us we need to do. From the time we are young, society pushes us to have goals and dreams, which are great, but is it worth jeopradizing our mental and/or physical well being? We only get one life and as much as I love to learn and need to make money, I want to do it on my terms. I don't want societal pressures constantly telling me that I need to do certain things in order to get into grad school, or to make myself a better candidate for a job. It's exhausting, and I'm scared of working my life away without stopping to smell the roses and actually experiencing life.

For now, I will continue to try my best in everything I do. Whether that is class, clubs, work, or maintaining a social life, I'll still work hard, but in the future, I hope that I get the opportunity to step back, look at what I’ve accomplished so far, and take a break. Hopefully the world won’t pass me by in the process.


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