Smith College: Balancing School and Life
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 11:11
Smith College is not always the ideal place for living a balanced life. Between classes, homework and that to-do list that never seems to get any shorter, it seems as though Smithies never have enough time to do anything. Thus, finding a balance between work and play can then appear impossible. Yet finding balance is essential to living a healthy and happy life. By finding ways to live a balanced life now, you will be more likely to use those skills to find balance with your careers, families and other endeavors post-Smith.
College is an important part of anyone’s life. When you look back and reflect on your time spent at Smith, do you really want to regret that you spent too much time working and too little time with your friends? It’s important to realize that Smith provides us with unparalleled academic and professional opportunities; in order to take advantage of these opportunities, having good grades helps.
However, when you look back on your college experience, you are not going to fondly reminisce about the hours you spent at the library or how high your GPA was. You are going to remember the amazing conversations you had with your friends at 2 a.m., the trips you took downtown to get Herrell’s in the cold and all the amazing friendships you made while you were here. Therefore, taking advantage of the social opportunities at Smith is just as important as taking advantage of the academic opportunities. What we learn from our fellow Smithies, who each have unique experience and opinions to offer, is also just as important as what we learn in class.
At Smith, the people who seem the happiest are those who have found a balance between work and play. The anxiety of those who work too much can be attributed to the competitive environment of Smith. While external competition between students at Smith is rare, an internal drive to succeed exists in most students. There also seems to be a perpetual contest among Smithies as to who has the most work to do. We Smithies take pride in our copious amounts of reading, numerous essays and never-ending string of quizzes.
While there is nothing wrong with prioritizing academics over one’s social life, it is important to remember that taking time out for our own selves is important. Even if it is difficult to make time to go out with you friends, you can take a walk on campus, meditate or read a book. Finding time to reflect and take breaks will provide you with perspective.
In addition to this, writing out everything you have to do in a planner can help you assess how much work you actually have to do as opposed to how much work you think you have. Find a place on campus where you are productive. If you feel as if you have accomplished a good amount of work, you will be more inclined to do something besides work with the rest of your time.
Remember, your GPA is not the most important thing you come out with at the end of your Smith career. It is your experience, your time spent with people and the things you enjoyed doing that will matter most.