How to "Do It All" In College (+ free iPhone wallpaper!)

In my spring semester, I became a pretty busy person. I was serving on executive councils for multiple organizations, coaching Girls on the Run, searching for an apartment/house, making summer travel plans, blogging, interviewing for jobs and taking 12 credit hours (should have been 15, but I changed my major and dropped a statistics class). My calendar was so full that I started blocking out time for lunch with friends and taking naps, or those things weren't going to happen. I've talked about time management in several blog posts but how do you actually balance all the things that college entails?

Start with the right planner for you. I use a combination of my laptop's calendar and a Lilly Pulitzer agenda. The outlook calendar is good for seeing each day and week at a glance. Below is an example of a week that was particularly packed full of commitments. During Greek Week, I also had three tests, a huge project due, an interview and a campus event to help run. As you can see, I use different colors to separate classes from organizations. Looking at my week this way helps me to see the free time that I do have and I'm able to figure out how to use it productively. 

There's one week in every semester that feels like it's going to destroy you. All your professors schedule an exam or a project to be due, and your organizations need you on two sides of campus at the same time. I use my agenda in class and at meetings to record dates as soon as I find out about them so I know ahead of time when I'm going to be busy and I don't overbook myself. Become accustomed to the idea that you might leave your apartment or dorm at 8am and not come back until after dinner time.

Know when to say yes and when to say no. You can be heavily involved in organizations and do well in class but you can't actually do it all. Minimize your stress by setting priorities and choosing which opportunities to actually go for. It's okay to say "no" to things that don't fit in your schedule. At some point, you have to. I got to a point last semester where I wouldn't promise to hang out with a friend until two days before in case something came up and I starting feeling awful about it. Your social life is, honestly, just as important as other aspects of college. If you don't leave yourself time to de-stress and maintain relationships, you'll fall apart.

Join organizations that you are passionate about. If you're running around and dedicating time to things that you don't actually care about, it becomes exhausting. There were certainly days when I thought I would rather take a longer nap than go to Girls on the Run practice, but I always went. Talking about things like confidence, emotions and healthy relationships with a group of 8-11 year olds was incredibly eye-opening. Going to these practices was one of the most rewarding parts of my week, so it was always worth being there. One of my favorite quotes is "do it with passion, or not at all" so keep that in mind.

The best way to remember something is to see it constantly, and you look at your phone about a million times a day. So, I made these iPhone wallpapers for you! Click on the image to go through to the full sized version for download.

I hope this blog post was helpful in some capacity! Leave a comment and let me know how you stay balanced and motivated! 

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  1. My friend is super involved in university, but she's told me she has trouble balancing all her duties, as well as saying "no" to people and clubs/organizations. I definitely think choosing only those you are super passionate about would help.

  2. I definitely could have used these tips in college! I was super involved with my sorority and had a lot go obligations as part of my scholarship that overwhelmed me. I serve as a sorority advisor now and as much as I laugh about how things haven't changed, I really feel for more ladies that struggle with staying involved, on top of school and working full time.