April 14, 2011

The Balancing Act

It’s easy to talk about getting involved on campus, but it isn’t as easy to manage your time with extracurricular activities and academics. So how do you balance Alpha Phi and all of the other crazy, sometimes seemingly impossible aspects of life? It isn’t easy, but the balancing act has taught me some valuable lessons since coming to college.

Just like many other women, I work while in school to take care of additional expenses that scholarships don’t cover. I am a waitress, which luckily, only requires a small portion of my time for a substantial turnout. When applying for a part-time job along with school, It’s important to consider the flexibility of a potential employer; papers come up, Alpha Phi ceremonies happen, community service opportunities pop up last minute, so finding an employer that is willing to give you those last minute days off will really help with time management.

Of all the things I’ve learned thus far in my four years of college, time management has been the most beneficial to me. There is nothing that managing your time well can’t solve. Rank activities in order of importance for completion. That way, deadlines don’t sneak up on you, and you’re more likely to have time in your schedule for having fun.

When people ask me how I manage to stay as active on campus and within academics, Alpha Phi is one of the ways: it keeps me on track. My sisters and I go on library dates, proofread each other’s homework, and keep each other’s stress levels down by planning spa days and movie nights. You are far more likely to get your work done if you are doing it with the support of people who matter to you. We all want to see our friends succeed, and the easiest way to do this is to help each other. So when times seem tough, turn to your friends. They may not always have the answer, but they will help you laugh and cry until you finally figure out what needs to be done to solve the problem.

There are some events I just can’t make it to. Sometimes, I have to say “no” to hanging out with my sisters to get that paper edited or to read that chapter for tomorrow’s class. Sacrifices come with commitments. There are some events that take precedent over others, so prioritizing and planning out a schedule in advance will assure that time is being spent wisely. Choose what matters most to you, commit yourself to those things, and the rest will fall into place as it should. I’ve learned that it’s more important to fully commit yourself to activities than to participate half-heartedly in as many activities as you can. Put your heart in everything that you do, and it will be noticed far more than the student who wants to fill his or her resume with as many activities as he or she can.

And lastly, in the grand scheme of the balancing act, take time to get to know your sisters and other members of Fraternity and Sorority life. They will be there for you long after you leave your collegiate institution. Remember that no matter how busy, there is always time to support the rest of the Fraternity and Sorority community on your campus as well. Although you may wear different letters, you share values that bind you together.

Chelle Haynes is a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh (Theta Psi).

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