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Finding Balance Within Student Life

My name is Anika, a second-year Life Sciences student, and your LSS Vice President of Communications! As I’ve moved off-campus this year, I’ve had to learn a lot more about taking care of myself and my academics.

At the beginning of this year, it seemed like there was never enough time in the day to finish all of my tasks. This anxious feeling of desperation and helplessness would lead me to procrastinating my work and completing it at a lower quality.

As someone who never really left their dorm room in first year, I wanted to take second year as a chance to “Y.O.L.O.” and make up for my introversion last year. But now that I look back at it, I realize this was because I pursued short-term fixes for my problems rather than long-term, sustainable plans.

For example:

  • I’d reward myself for tasks I haven’t even finished yet to “get me in the mood” to study;

  • I’d buy way too much coffee on-campus instead of making it at home, and;

  • I’d knowingly choose to hang out with friends when I knew I had a midterm the next day.

And so, with the frequent sabotage I was inflicting upon myself, I realized that a balance must exist. By living alone, I have had to become my own parent figure away from home. Not just with the cooking and cleaning, but with keeping myself accountable in every aspect of my mental, physical, academic, and social life. By no means am I saying I’ve mastered these, I still have so much to work on and so much more to learn.

And so, of course: university is a place where we can meet new people, have fun, and enjoy the last years of our youth, but university also provides us with the resources to build a strong foundation of our respective careers and develop good habits that we carry into adulthood -- and we should take advantage of that!

So in this blog post, I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do to achieve this balance, or how to prioritize your future-self. I just want to pick your brain about the following questions:

  • How are you spending your time?

  • How can you allocate your time to different aspects of your life better?

  • What are some better habits you can create for your future-self?

  • What are you doing right now that your future-self will thank you for?

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