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Student Blog: Take a Deep Breath: Tackling Stress and Commitments in College

Student Blog: Take a Deep Breath: Tackling Stress and Commitments in College

Being in college while managing outside commitments is undoubtedly stressful, but having a solidified plan can make it a truly wonderful experience.

I'm only three months into my freshman year as a double major in musical theatre and comedy writing, and I'm already the busiest I've ever been in the entirety of my life. Being able to balance full-time school, auditions, my professional comedy group, and seasonal work while also attempting to leave myself some time to relax is difficult, to say the least. However, given all of these commitments, it's been a fantastic opportunity to improve my knowledge and skills in commitment, time management, and self-care.

When I was getting started with auditions at the beginning of this school year, I was feeling absolutely desperate to get onstage. I was sending in self-tapes left and right, making sure every video was nothing less than my absolute best, and going to bed every night hoping that I might at least get a callback. It took a while to let go of that sense of frustration and perfectionism in my auditions, but as soon as I did, I didn't regret that choice for a second. Learning to go with the flow and not basing my self-worth on every rejection gave me the opportunity to let go of my mistakes and move on, leading to being cast in multiple productions within the span of a month.

Once I was set with weekly rehearsals for these productions, I began to realize just how busy my schedule was going to become. I was riddled with commitments every day, and still had a consistent amount of schoolwork to complete before my deadlines. I was incredibly concerned about falling behind in these classes, and noticed quickly that I needed to develop some effective tools to manage my work and step up to what was expected of me. I immediately got to work in creating a calendar, setting alarms for each of my tasks, and scheduling transportation for my weekly rehearsals. Planning out this time was extremely effective in helping me manage my responsibilities while also leaving myself a moment to breathe and enjoy some free time.

The moment I created this plan, my once constant stress started to slowly fade away. I was attending each of my classes, staying on top of my work, and performing well in all of my outside commitments. Along with that, I also figured out how to balance my personal time so I could paint, sing, explore the city, and play my favorite video games a few times a week without feeling the overwhelming stress of my other work. I was back into a schedule that I could manage, and I couldn't be more happy about each and every opportunity that I was a part of.

Now, as I've hit the point of Thanksgiving break, I am so incredibly relieved that I took a moment to work on these tools and manage my time. I'm now enjoying my life every day, and haven't felt that strong weight of stress and chaos for weeks. Taking time to organize and adapt is extremely important in any situation, and I couldn't be more grateful that these opportunities gave me the chance to learn that important lesson. I'm truly hoping that I can remain in this state of calmness all the way through the rest of this semester, as it has been an absolutely wonderful experience.

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