Q: Lately, I feel like I’m drowning. My schoolwork is never-ending, my boyfriend and I never see each other and I’m getting scheduled to work 40 hours a week at work. How do I manage to do all of those things, succeed in school and also not feel like I’m juggling 12 different kinds of responsibilities?
A: Reader, I get it.
I think every single college student struggles with this at least once in his/her academic career. It’s really hard, and it really sucks, but the only real advice I can give you is to take it day by day. It’s now more common than ever to have at least one job and go to school full time, but balancing that with any kind of social life, a relationship or family makes it so much harder.
Manage your tasks by making lists. That is legitimately the only way I survive between two jobs, a relationship and 20 units. In terms of your sanity, accept that sometimes you feel like you’re drowning.
More often than not, you will feel like so many things are outside of your control, and that’s because they are. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to be 100 percent in control of all aspects of your life. That has been the hardest truth for me to learn in all of the school, work and social craziness, but it’s true – there will always be things that are a little bit out of your control. There will more often than not be an assignment that makes you feel like all of the right answers are out of reach, you and your boyfriend will argue over really ridiculous things because you’re both stressed and you probably will only get to talk to your Mom on the phone for five minutes for the entire week.
However, all of the stressful outside things aside, there are resources everywhere. This includes resources at Fresno State that have been designed to make your student lives easier. The Student Health and Counseling Center offers counseling for individuals and couples, just in case the rough patch gets hard to handle on your own, the Henry Madden library offers workshops on note taking and time management, and there is always the tutorial center for the work that you can’t handle on your own.
In terms of maintaining a relationship, know this: misery loves company. It’s a cliche for a reason. If instead of fighting, you and your boyfriend could commiserate over how a class has taken over your lives, you create a bond instead of a schism. But make sure that you each set aside time to disregard work and school to focus on each other. Make one another dinner, go on a bike ride or plan a low-key date day. It’ll make the difference and help your relationship survive the semester.
Stress is all-consuming, but leave knowing this: all of the pieces will fall together eventually. With every semester I guarantee that being that having so much going on will become easier. You will acclimate to a new normal, and you will master it. Practice makes perfect! You’ll get the hang of it. This is the busiest you’re going to be in probably your whole life, and you are doing the best that you can. Give yourself credit. Once you’ve done that, pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on “The Bachelor” and set aside that paper and decompress. You’ve earned it.