Graphic by Anabelle Coker | THE ALL STATE.

Life can be chaotic in so many different ways, and mastering a work or school to life balance while handling the curve balls thrown at us is difficult. Adding new things to our lives is both invigorating and terrifying, especially when it comes to reconfiguring our set routines. I will be talking about my personal work/life/school/extracurricular balance, and hopefully I can help you learn to balance your life better as well. 

I am a person who loves to stay busy constantly. For example, here’s what my fall and spring semesters looked like:

In the fall I was juggling 14 credit hours (had classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday), worked 20 hours a week (working every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday), started my first semester writing for The All State and was an active leader in the Governor’s Own Marching Band (with rehearsals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and a game which took up almost all day on Saturday).

For this spring semester I am juggling 13 credit hours (with classes from 9-5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays), 25-30 hours a week at work (working Friday through Monday), participating in the pep band when basketball season was still in session (rehearsals were every Wednesday and we had games every Thursday and Saturday) as well as writing for the All State. 

Yes, all of this was very chaotic. Yes, I did struggle finding my balance and learning to juggle all of it. Yes, I did have a hard time at certain points. However, once I found my balance, life became so much easier.

The biggest piece of advice I give to everyone is know your limits and listen to your body. Know your warning signs of burnout and stop it before it happens. Slowly transition into new hobbies or activities and give yourself rest days.

A big struggle during the fall semester was not giving myself time to rest; I was going and going all day every day. This semester, I have given myself a set rest day to recover, clean up my home as well as do things that I enjoy. 

You also need to set and respect your own boundaries. It is impossible to take care of others if you do not take care of yourself first. Honoring your own boundaries and using your free time wisely is key to preventing burnout.

My last tip is to take things one step at a time. Try to stay in the moment during your events of the day. If it helps you, make a checklist or write things in a planner so you can see everything physically written down. Completing tasks one at a time and learning to prioritize is a very useful skill to have.

These tips may or may not be helpful to you, but finding balance is unique to everyone and I hope these at least set you up for success in finding your routine.