Jade Szymanski | Contributor
Fall has finally decided to stumble upon us, and with the new season comes a whole new schedule and routine to start getting into the habit of. Once you’ve figured out your classes, you can start planning around the rest of your week, such as how often you’re going to go to the gym, what hours you’re going to designate to homework, how frequently you’re going to shower, how long you’re going to designate to scrapbooking, when you’re going to have time to manage your fantasy football league, etc. Being able to balance such a heavy schedule can seem daunting at first. However, I can assure you that the benefits of staying busy far outweigh the cons.
Last year was my first year at UNBC, and I found myself skipping classes so that I could nap at least 4 hours every day, skipping the gym to rewatch the same shows on Netflix, and postponing all my homework until the very last minute (somehow still managing to get stellar grades but not in the most efficient way possible). I was a bag of lazy bones that was absolutely miserable with my routine and just couldn’t wait until the summer where I could get a reset button. I never want to find myself in that position ever again and think I have found a solution to never having to fall back into that pit of despair. My problem last year was that I had so much extra free time that I would easily get bored and wouldn’t want to do any homework or chores because I thought, “Oh, I have so much time, I can do it later.” Well “later” would turn into “at the very last minute” and “at the very last minute” would turn into “never.”
This year, I’ve decided to approach school and routine in a new way by staying busy. All throughout high school I found that the kids who did no extracurriculars would have the worst work ethic and in turn their grades would suffer, whereas the kids who did multiple extracurriculars would always somehow find the time to balance their activities and excel in everything they did. This always boggled my mind as one would think that if you had so much free time to do homework and study, you would succeed with ease; however, this was not the case.
When reflected upon though, it’s quite simple to understand; being constantly busy requires you to learn a more in depth understanding about time management and prioritization between what needs to get done first and how long you can devote to one activity before moving on to the next. On the other hand, if you have five hours to complete a task that takes an hour and a half, you’re probably going to procrastinate and stretch out how long it should actually take since you feel like you have all the time in the world; you don’t feel the pressure to work efficiently.
While I’m not saying to overbook yourself and to never have any free time, it should be understood that too much of anything can be a bad thing. Too much free time will lead to laziness whereas too much to do in a day will lead to stress. It’s important to find a balance between responsibilities and leisure, although I don’t believe it should be a 50/50 split. Having more responsibilities than leisure time will kick your butt into being a hardworking individual with a good work ethic.
To all the first years, please take my advice with a grain of salt as you’re still learning the ropes of university and it’s basically a party the whole year for you, so live it up and enjoy it while you still can. To everyone else though, if you find that you have lots of free time, you don’t know what to do with yourself, and are pretty self-motivated, please consider filling your schedule with new activities and hobbies. Not only will you discover new passions and interests, and maybe make a buck or two while doing it, but you will find yourself gaining a better understanding of good time management while keeping an active brain which will help it maintain a flow of agility and alertness.