Maintain work-life balance by knowing what to cut back

Around this time of the year, schoolwork and exams are piling up fast. Students may be wondering where in the world all the hours in the week went. Different activities and commitments chew away at our time bit by bit. A few hours spent on club sport practice, a few more in a Model United Nations meeting and a couple evenings of work or volunteering can add up quickly, whittling down the time remaining for the “student life triangle” of studying, sleeping and socializing.

No one can really “do it all” – not with a finite amount of time, that is. So, at a certain point, after sufficiently testing the waters of different activities, we have to ask ourselves: how many time commitments are we willing to take on? How many are we even physically capable of handling?

From the beginning of our college years, there is a push to be as involved as possible, and, under the influence of the surreal optimism that convinces us we can do it all, it’s easy to quickly fall down the slippery slope of overcommitment. While it is incredibly rewarding to pursue meaningful causes and interests, we must be careful not to stretch ourselves too thin. When we’ve reached the point of overexertion, we tend to under-deliver.

This limit is different for every student, and it is our individual responsibility to gauge our own capacity and know where to draw the line. When activities become more burdensome than exciting and when schoolwork and wellness seem to be taking a backseat to everything else, that’s burning out.

So how do we scale back? Which activities do we cut and which do we keep?

This varies widely based on individual student experiences and goals, but overall, the most rewarding activities are those that give us ample room to contribute. Organizations in which you are genuinely connected with your peers and can take initiative on efforts are more meaningful than “resume padders” in which you are only a fly on the wall. That’s a two-way street, too: invest more in activities that invest a lot in you. Clubs and programs that are well organized and can provide good opportunities for their members are valuable resources.

Make more time for the activities that fulfill you the most by shedding those that don’t.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.