College is an amazing time for so many students for a variety of reasons. The environment and structure of college often create an abundance of new experiences and opportunities all year long while also connecting students with people who they might not have ever met in another space. Yet, the very same things that can make college so much fun, like lots of experiences and opportunities, also create a lot of stress and pressure for college students.
I know firsthand that it is very easy to get caught up in the feeling of having to always be working towards some fantastic goal. With all of the pressure put on students earlier and earlier within their academic careers, it can get very overwhelming trying to keep afloat, leaving some students feeling like they are not succeeding enough when it comes to their academic, extracurricular, and professional lives.
This is not to say that having those big goals and wanting to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can is a bad thing. Whenever a new opportunity comes my way, I get super excited thinking about all of the new experiences I might have. But, just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you should or that it’s the best choice for you right then and there. It’s extremely important to remember that college is not just about intellectual and professional growth. You grow as an individual during college too.
We all spend a lot of time thinking about how we can grow our resumes but not enough time about how we can grow as people or how we can increase our well-being. After all, if the person doing the work isn’t feeling right, eventually none of the work will be right either.
There’s nothing wrong or less valuable about doing things in college just for your own happiness and peace of mind. Maybe you want to join a painting club just because you think that it’ll be fun. Or maybe every Saturday you want to try out a new cafe in your college town because why not? These, along with many others, are experiences that allow personal growth to happen during your college years.
We hear it all of the time, “work and life balance,” yet sometimes in college, the balance gets away from you, and you end up burnt out and wondering where did all of the time go. “Living” during college will, of course, look different for each person, but the important thing is to always check in with yourself about whether or not you’re still maintaining a life outside of being a college student. If your weekly schedule is feeling a bit overwhelming, maybe it’s time to add a little time for living your best life in there!