Finding the balance between academic excellence while maintaining your social life can be overwhelming for the average person. Adding a job, internship or athletics to all of that is impossible for some. Then there is you... You want to do it all.
While this is admirable, it is also difficult to do everything well. Often, taking on too much can leave one or more areas suffering.
It is helpful to rate things by importance. Look toward your future, but don't forget your present. I’m sure family and school are somewhere on top on this list. Create a list of your top six priorities.
Once you have completed your list, it's time to look at what you can get rid of. One of the things at the bottom may be the recreational softball team you play on. These things are good for your health, but they may cause you to feel overbooked. Find an alternative work out option that demands less time.
So I am going to assume that your priority list looks a little something like this:
There may be variations, but these are the things that should be pretty high -- and balancing these 6 things is doable.
Keeping your family close means regular communication. This can be attained by spending holidays together and making sure you check in once a week for a few minutes. Those who love you understand your crazy schedule and commend you for sticking to it. Just don't forget Dad's birthday present and you are all good.
As for your studies, they should take up a BIG chunk of your time. There is no legitimate excuse outside of death or illness that makes missing a class or an assignment acceptable. Schedule study time and stick to it. Block out two hours every day for study time and stay consistent. When scheduling the rest of your time, do not compromise this.
Internships can come throughout the year or during the summer. I recommend applying for multiple internships and completing at least three before you graduate. It's important to get a feel for different environments and positions before entering the world as a professional. If you opt for a summer internship, scheduling should be fairly easy -- even if you are also taking a light class load. If you are interning through the year on full time courses, you will want to be honest when applying the hours you can spend on the job.
I would recommend trying to steer clear of working through college if you can, but for many this isn't possible. Try getting a job that covers your expenses just by working weekends. A job as a restaurant server is perfect for a college student. Regardless of where you work, you aren't going to take up too many hours during the week. This time should be dedicated to your studies.
Being a part of clubs and organizations looks good on resumes, but the should fall farther down your list. They just aren't as important as your GPA and on-the-job experience. Limit the amount of clubs you join. These should be things you are passionate about that allow flexibility.
Friends are last on my list, not because they are unimportant, but because the truth is friends come and go. Very few will be there with you for the rest of your life like your family and often they can provide an unnecessary distraction. Find friends who are like-minded -- who understand your schedule and keep a similar one. When you have a break in your schedule, enjoy the social side of life. While this is on the bottom, it is important! If you are all work and no play, you will find yourself feeling unfulfilled.
The most important to staying consistent is to use this list to create a schedule; by doing so, you will find balance and avoid the stress that comes with being pulled in too many directions.