It’s an enviable dilemma. A true non-problem, even. When there are just too many opportunities, how can you make the most of them?
The answer is perhaps not to.
By no means do I mean not to take opportunities. You should always be on the look-out for them, as you never know what’s out there and what will come in handy. But I do mean that you should choose carefully.
So many possibilities… not enough time
This enviable dilemma is facing me now at the College. Sure, I’m taking salsa (which is awesome – and when others are relaxed and keen it makes it even more enjoyable), studying Russian (это хорошо!), taking a journalism course, in the bar committee, sports committee, swimming, running and trying to make theatre when it doesn’t clash with working in the bar. But therein lies the problem, things clash and I really can’t take any more on whilst still studying.
Moreover; time to reflect; time just for yourself; is vital. I’ve had to choose and by choosing, I’ve had to forego some opportunities. The choir, zumba and debating being three examples.
SO how to do it?
Decision-making is rarely easy, and it’s perhaps just as hard when choices are bad as when they are fantastic. You’ve got to think what you really want to do – and then stick with the decision. As I tell myself at least once a week, only do those things you really want to do and not what you feel you have to, because then you’ll do those things better.
In a balancing act, don’t make the rope too thin
Those things that you really want to do might not be easy, or they might be more time-consuming than others, and you have to take that into account too. The journalism course is only 8 hours long, whilst the Russian course is held two to three times a week and is much more exhausting. However, the people in my class are great fun and I still look forward to the lessons (plus our trips for pierogi/sushi after, Luc and Nadia!). Therefore you need to balance what you do too – the bar committee is a social thing, whilst sport is just that.
What should I be doing?
It could be argued that I should be using the ‘extra-curricular time’ for developing ‘skills’ and ‘competences’ for the professional environment. What I’ve learnt from my undergraduate course and the real world however is that you benefit most from, and build-up the skills you need when you enjoy what you do. Plus, if you develop skills doing something you hate, you won’t have the skills to do what you want to do anyway.
More importantly, I believe, is to do everything with conviction. Again, to do that, you need to be able to spend time on what you’re doing.
Finally, I’ve realised you also need time to be spontaneous. To go out for a meal with friends, grab pizza instead of the restaurant and tout d’un coup practice salsa. Every Friday evening we go down the bar and dance until the early hours (and trust me, they can dance here), which you just couldn’t do if you were exhausted trying to balance everything else.
Yes it’s tiring, but with such enthusiastic people around me, who all take on just the right amount of things, you can make the most of all the opportunities you can seize.