Work vs. Work vs. Life

I used to value my sleep. When Saturday mornings came I never woke to greet them, and I loved it. In high school, I knew that working hard all week meant that come the weekend, I would live in the luxury of happily rotting away on my couch in my pajamas, without a care in the world. Ah, those were the days. But where have the good times gone?

As a college student on the brink of graduation, I’ve come to terms with saying a sad farewell to such lazy days. At this point in my life, sleep has become a fairy tale; it’s something I want to believe in, but I don’t think will ever be true. Okay, I’m exaggerating—I do sleep. But over the course of my three-year advertising and marketing communications management program at Algonquin College, I’ve had to sacrifice my downtime in order to work on projects that were fast approaching “deadline danger.”

In my first year of college, I was extremely overwhelmed and unbelievably stressed out with the amount of work that was expected of advertising students. On top of that, I was working two part-time jobs and playing in two fully active bands. With all these commitments, I became a circus juggling act.

Somehow, I managed to push through first year with all these things on the go. During my much-needed time off in between first and second year, I re-evaluated my daily agenda. I knew that in order to have a more successful, stress-free year, I would have to cut out some of my after-school activities. But which ones? I will always be passionate about music, so giving that up didn’t seem like an option. I also firmly believe that having a creative outlet helps me stay somewhat sane. The bottom line is, sometimes these temporary sacrifices are necessary in order to reach the end goal.

Here are three methods I used to help me decide my plan of action:

1) Ask yourself which activity makes you the happiest.

2) Ask yourself which one will benefit you the most.

3) Find out the end goal/desired outcome for each activity.

After sitting down with these three methods, I came to a conclusion that was simpler than I had first thought. The result was a more open agenda that allowed me to focus on school, while still having a little bit of an income to keep me going. That being said, it didn’t come without leaving something behind.

If you don’t handle stress well, I suggest trying these three methods if you are ever in a similarly overbooked situation. In the end, maybe your daily agenda needs to be simplified in order to set your sights forward. Focus on where you can be and where you will be with a little time management and sacrifice. Most importantly, don’t focus on the length of your journey, but on the destination.

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