In one of my previous posts I talked about balancing school and athletics. That alone is hard enough, especially being a STEM major. But to take all of that and balance life, is the greatest challenge. I was blessed enough to have parents and go to a high school that emphasized the importance of time management. Without having practiced that early on, I probably would struggle to balance STEM and regular life. Without a good balance your overall health can negatively be affected, especially your sleep patterns, hygiene, and physical health. There's three key things that I like the do to maintain a closest-to-healthy balance:
Keep a planner
Put important events in my phone calendar with alerts
Try not to overcommit
Remembering to do these three things has helped me in more ways than expected. Keeping a planner allows me to handwrite assignments, important dates, and even events. Using my phone calendar is a very good habit, and often serves as an electronic backup to my planner. However, not everything I put in my planner goes in my phone calendar. I typically put important dates and critical events in my phone calendar because of the alert capabilities. I often set the alerts to come a day or two in advance and then on the day of. Lastly, trying not to overcommit. What I mean by this is maintaining how many extra things I take on outside of what my initial schedule is. My initial schedule would be my academics and my sport. Anything on top of that (extracurriculars) like clubs, organizations, etc. can accumulate, becoming too much. Now if I have taken on too much, I try to prioritize what extras are most important to me, and relinquish the rest. This allows me to maintain that healthy balance of being a student in STEM and still having a somewhat normal life. In addition to the 3 tips, surrounding myself with other people/friends who are just as grounded as I am, if not more, is extremely helpful. I try to associate myself with people who are focused like I am, because it enhances my overall performance. Having a family that cares about me being my best, helps as well. I utilize them for advisement, help when needed, or just to help get my mind off of the stresses of school or life. These few little things definitely make all the difference in the end.