I’ve said it once, and I’ll continue to say it a thousand more times: this semester is insanely busy. I have—what seems like—a paper due every other day, several short stories to read nightly and a couple of projects a week. There’s barely time to breathe. So, what did I decide to do? Get a job! Of course!
I made this same move around the last month-or-so in the spring semester of 2018, and—spoiler alert—it didn’t work out very well. I worked at a food place that intensely trained me four days a week for six hours at a time and, while I’m no stranger to working a lot and having a lot of homework, I was completely out of my element. In hindsight, this job would’ve worked out much better in the summer, but alas. The job was in Charleston and I do not live anywhere close to Charleston.
Physically, it was pretty demanding. I’ve been working in the food industry since I was sixteen. It wasn’t my first rodeo working long shifts on my feet, making food or dealing with customers. The difference was, when I transferred to Eastern, I really starting putting my all into my school work. I wanted that 4.0. If I had time to study and work to get an A, I was going to do it. And, I quickly realized that my previous ideals of balancing my life amongst work, school, and a social life were not very well balanced.
While I was in community college—or even high school—my main focus was work. Work was where I made money, work was where I had my friends, work was my life. Everything else was secondary to that. I started to recognize this same behavioral pattern in myself when I started that job last spring. I was neglecting my studies, I was putting shifts before school, and at this point in my life, school has to come first if I can help it.
To be honest, up until this point in my life, I wasn’t in the greatest space mentally. So, that could be why I applied myself the most at work; I got the most gratification out of that setting. Since adding a major and with graduation creeping up, I’ve placed more priority in school and, as a result, my future.
This time around, I’m limiting myself to how much I can realistically work. When I say school comes first, I mean school comes first. And you should, too! I implore you to take a good, long look at your life and prioritize. I know I needed to get mine in order. Divide your time up—not evenly, necessarily, but—by what aspect deserves it the most. It probably won’t make your life easier, but it might clear up some stress.
Megan Keane is a senior English and psychology major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]