“This is the year I’m going to-“: Advice for Building a Balanced Semester

school-life-balanceWe’re back in the thick of it now. The school semester is as follows (monthly); Septry-anything-out-and-apply-for-everything, Octotally-in-over-your-head-with-work, Novacate-life-and-camp-in-the-library, Decearnestly-study-for-exams-and-wait-for-Chrsitmas.

It can seem like all too much at once. You want to get better grades this year and find an internship and be an executive while also penning your early memoir and inventing the time machine.

Sometimes it’s best to take a second and slow down. Here’s some info and advice for those of us (myself included) that need a pre-break to pre-manage our prospects.

Natalie Shanklin, in The Ithican, writes on the modern imbalance between extracurricular and school focus. It can be a real toss-up. You want to gain some great experience and show you’re well-rounded but also have the grades to back up your degree.

The Prospect gives some great advice towards managing extracurricular work with the demands of school. Here are some of my favorites, with a little bit of personal experience to back them up:

  1. Prioritize your goals – This just means that you should zero in on the most important task you want to accomplish this semester. Better grades? Club executive? Find a great internship? It’s up to you. Try to find some realistic balance in life between what you want to do and what you have time for- and ask yourself, is this really beneficial going forward?
  2. Don’t be afraid to apply, but also be ready to reject – Go out there and try for everything you want! Never make concrete plans around a position you haven’t received but be open to a variety of possibilities. You may need to retract or reject an acceptance or two to make room for other priorities.
  3. Buy a calendar – SSMU gives them out for free. It’s best to get a real working visual of all the things going on. Step 1 of the school year is to write out every single due date and assignment coming up. After that, I study the criteria of various positions and see how they may fit into my life, realistically.

It will only get busier from here on out but, as McGillians know, sometimes it’s good for you to be busy. Invite variety into your life and explore the various avenues the university has to offer. Just remember to build a semester that factors in school, studying, clubs, events, trips, Netflix and Saturday nights too.

They’re all much needed.

Deanna is a student, writer and editor originally from Toronto but currently exploring Montreal. She works in administration, fashion, publishing and journalism with a deep desire to ask questions and record stories. She’s passionate about used books, good tea and sharing her adventures throughout the city. 



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One response to ““This is the year I’m going to-“: Advice for Building a Balanced Semester”

  1. Ivan says:

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

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