“Dear Brooke, with a hard major, how do you still do the clubs you want?”

As an English Creative Writing major, I’m sure that many may deem me unqualified to answer this question. However, since I am working both a job and an internship during the active semester, I think my busy schedule is somewhat similar to those who are declared in STEM. Therefore, I have some advice that will hopefully guide you down the right path, because after all, you should always have the time to unwind by indulging in your hobbies and side interests.

Time management is the most obvious and important factor to be able to achieve this desire – and within that, is finding a routine. As we approach the end of our first month at school, hopefully, you have already gotten into your “groove.” But if not, no worries, because all good things take time. A rule of thumb that I make sure to accomplish at the start of each week is creating a detailed schedule including everything from my classes, meal times, showers and even time to scroll through social media. My mother says that this tactic may seem overwhelming to some people, but if it works for you as well as it does for me, then this might be your staple trick for the next four years. After writing in the events that are necessary, you can then start to map out those time slots, ones that will now include your club meetings or events, that will allow you to view the hours that are open for homework and other things that have piqued your interest. When I first started working for The Mirror, I knew that I had to carve out an hour on Monday nights for pitch meetings and additional time throughout the week to write my article. With those visual inclusions, I knew which hours were open to working on specific courses. 

Communication is another large factor in being able to successfully juggle a full college load. All clubs on campus are run by students like us, which means they are very understanding of our intensive majors and crammed schedule. So, if you have a huge exam coming up or a ten-page essay due the night of a meeting, all you have to do is send the president a nice text or quick email that you can’t make this week’s meeting, but you are excited to make the next one! From there, they’ll tell you what you missed if it’s important so you’re still involved behind the scenes. Although it is saddening, there is no shame in not being able to go to every gathering – and I assure you that a majority of other members won’t be able to go to all of them either!

Lastly, please don’t ignore your mental health. It is common to fall under tense spells where you are homesick, overwhelmed or just plain drained. When you start to feel this way, it is vital to understand your priorities. Maybe start to take a break from constant studying and leave the library to go hang out at the club you really enjoy. Straight A’s are not worth the strain on your body. So, remember to take care of yourself and enjoy your college years for its social and creative outlets rather than just its academics!

There is no doubt in my mind that once you start to fit in those clubs that are on your mind, it will become a constant in your weekly routine despite your difficult workload. Clubs are necessary for a hectic academic environment as they are often your only time for a breather. Don’t let the fear of falling behind push you from breaking out of your comfort zone!

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