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A balancing act

So it’s that dreaded time of year again – final exams are just around the corner. Students’ lives are in frenzy as they try to find a balance between school life and real life.

I feel like I have been in exam mode for quite some time now. Professors have crammed the last of the midterms and assignments into the middle of November in order to adhere to the policy that there should be no evaluations in the last two weeks of classes. There is so much pressure on students to manage their time and somehow create a balance in their lives.

But I wonder, how are students able to practice effective time management skills if they have three or four exams in one week? I cannot possibly cram all of that knowledge in my head and be expected to perform well. I consider myself to have good time management skills, but sometimes it just isn’t feasible, no matter how hard you try to complete all tasks.

Most times, the material required for the exams has not been covered until a few days prior to the exam date. What about other aspects of students’ lives? Where do hobbies, interests and other extracurricular activities fit in? I do not want school work to consume my life.

What I don’t understand is that professors and other influential people in our lives are encouraging us to be active, to get out there and to differentiate ourselves from the crowd, yet we are also constantly reminded that it is essential to excel at our school work. When is there time? When is there time to sleep, eat, work, complete course requirements and enjoy life?

It is a juggling act. You must attempt to prioritize your tasks and complete them in a timely manner. Of course, this may mean a few all nighters along the way and a few dollars spent on coffees and energy drinks but it is all worth it in the end. All of this hard work, motivation and dedication is ultimately a commitment, and sometimes a sacrifice, to guide you to where your future path may lead. It is an investment, so make your decisions wisely.

Don’t get me wrong, school work is definitely my number one priority these days, but I also need down time to relax. If I don’t manage my time, I am going to crash and burn. I occasionally need to re-energize. The thing that is getting me through this next month or so is that once exams are over, we have three weeks of Christmas holidays to unwind before classes start again and we have to repeat the exhausting process once more.

For now, I will continue to slave away at my school work. I will more than likely set up camp in one of my favourite, cozy places in the library. In fact, I think it is about time I start paying rent to the library; it has literally become my new home. On the up side, the busier I am, the faster time goes and the faster I am finished my exams. Now if I can only focus on my studies long enough instead of thinking about the holidays, I would be ahead of the game. Good luck.