Friday, January 30, 2009

Work. School. Sleep. No time for living?

I got to thinking, after a few conversations with friends over recent weeks, how little free time we all have. It seems university life is a trade-off between having fun and doing well. Is there time for both? Is this any different than work life? (Image: Clock from Apple System Preferences) It's midterm season and everyone is feeling it. "It" being the pressure to pull off passable marks without driving yourself so far up a tree of isolation that you can't come back down. Well, I shouldn't say "everyone." There are a privileged few who know how to balance both in perfect harmony.

I'm not one of those people, so, with a bit of envy, I have been pondering what they do that I don't. It seems to me that when I take a day off to relax, I don't really get to relax. If the people who can balance both are at one end of a scale, I would be at the other.

Well, maybe not the other end of the scale. I have no problem forgetting about the insane amount of school work and work-related tasks for sustained periods of time, but I struggle to not feel as though I've wasted a day after the fact. I think the main difference between those who can feel balanced and those who are more like me is the mindset that social life is equally important to school or work.

I'm not accusing myself or others of undervaluing a social life. What I am saying is that we can get the notion that 'school (or work) will make or break us' stuck in our head too readily. There is no reason that we have to pick one over the other. It may be easier to get an 80 if you shut down socially, but it would be a very empty term.

Finding the balance is important. It's an entirely individual thing. While first year is fun, I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of us were way off in our attempts to balance, or lack of attempts to balance. I know that I am a lot closer this year, and it's been more enjoyable on the whole. Carrying this balance forward will be important, because, from what I can tell, balancing work and life is no different.