Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Balancing the busy life

Hey everyone, Jessica here!

Along with Monday blogger Ranziba, it seems all nighters are a common pattern nowadays. It's been a full day of school and my evenings are shot with homework and playing sports. I notice many UTSC athletes are having a hard time balancing both. 

For example, at hockey practice only five or six girls would show up. The coach said everyone else was writing essays, finishing up labs, or other various school projects. It's not fun nor productive having a fraction of the players show up for practice, especially with semi-finals and finals fast approaching. 

If you know how to do it properly, balancing school and sports is simple.

I was lucky at a young age to have experienced the balancing act and compiled my top five list on how to keep an even scale.

1. Know your schedule

You should write down and know by heart all your due dates, practice, and game times. This is common sense. If you know you have an assignment due Thursday, but you have a game every Wednesday night - you should know to schedule your time accordingly. Word of advice, get your work done before you play. Two reasons. One, you won't be stressing about it at the game and two, when you get home, you can sleep peacefully once you walk in the door knowing your work is already finished.

2. Time management

If I could I'd bold this statement, make it 100 size font, and underline it in red at least 500 times - I would. This is the most important lesson in balancing a busy life. Everyone manages their time differently, here's how I do it. I know it sounds nerdy and a lot of work, but every day I plan out what I'm doing at every hour. This method has helped me for years because I know I don't have time to procrastinate. No time to slack. It keeps me focused and I always get my work done on time. Truth.

3. Don't stress

Balancing school and sports can be tough, but it doesn't have to take over your life. Of course most of your time will be dedicated to either of the two, but you should always make time for friends and family. Make sure you leave at least one hour in your day to just sit back and watch TV or go out with a friend. You deserve to. Just because you're busy, doesn't mean you need to sacrifice your social life.

4. Eat right

You need energy to keep going throughout the day! Duh! I know I shouldn't remind you, but it seems I keep reminding myself I need to eat properly. If I want to have the energy to play a sport, I need to eat food that will keep me going. Next week I will (possibly) post what you should and should not eat during exam time. According to a UTSC nutritionist of course. Stay tuned.

5. Have fun

Yadda, yadda, yadda, you've heard it all before. But, how can you have fun when you have a zillion things on your plate? Easy, develop a routine that's right for you. Once you get into the swing of things, you'll realize your stress levels will lessen and you'll actually have time to enjoy both school and sports simultaneously. Well, sports at least. Regardless, you should rarely sacrifice one or the other. These balancing skills are transferable. When you get into the real world, you'll be thankful you're one step ahead of the game.

Here's a fun fact: Back in the day, I was the prize you got in your Frosted Flakes.


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