There are seven days of the week and only 24 hours in each day. And yet, between the student news (which is ten miles long), posters, floor activities, class, work and more, it seems impossible to do it all. Every time you think you’ve picked a club or an activity, you find another ‘even better’ one that you simply have to attend. And then, by week three or four of school you realize you’ve joined over ten clubs and you’re running out of time for studying, sleeping and eating. Then, you cry and die inside a little and realize that Calvin’s overabundance of opportunities can be more of a curse than a blessing.
This is where prioritizing comes in handy. You need to evaluate what is and isn’t important in life. Even more importantly, however, you need to learn to say ‘no.’ When your friend asks you to go to that new Bible study they have been dying to try, but you already attend two of your own, say ‘no.’ You aren’t a heathen if you skip chapel every now and then (but it is great, so I recommend going to as many as possible). You aren’t a bad friend if you don’t have time to go apple picking or watch a movie. You need to decide what’s important and what is worth your time.
The best way to figure out what to spend your time on is to break your life down into sections. I have found that in my life I typically divide my time into these major categories: social, personal, spiritual, homework, work and professional development.
I have a job because I need to earn money for college, but also to develop my professional resume. I do homework out in my lobby so I can simultaneously socialize and complete my homework. I join clubs that fulfill either social or professional development aspects of my life. If something does not fulfill one of these categories, that is a key indicator that it probably is not necessary. Assess how much each category requires and prioritize accordingly. As an extrovert, I find I need more social time than personal time. Similarly, I find that I prioritize my homework over my professional development and socialization. It’s all about prioritizing and learning to say ‘no.’ If you can master those two key things, you can master anything.