Student Blog: The Busy Life of a Theatre Student

How I find time to be with friends and take care of myself when my schedule is overflowing.

Student Blog: The Busy Life of a Theatre Student
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Juggling classes, rehearsals, work, and friendships can be very difficult in college, especially as a theatre major. This semester, I’m taking two theatre classes, two politics classes, two voice lessons, and I’m singing in choir. In addition to the time I spend physically in classes, each demands significant work outside of class. Over the past semester, I’ve developed a few tools that help me prioritize all of my responsibilities that I want to share.

One way I prioritize my time is by separating my homework into what I can do with others from what has to be done alone. I plan my studying so that I save easier tasks (that take less brain power) for when I’m with friends. This helps me stay productive. Another way I spend time with my friends is at meals. Often, we compare schedules a day or two in advance and see when we can eat together. When we have large chunks of free time, we like to leave campus and explore local coffee shops where we can socialize and do homework.

Another challenge with a busy schedule is that my brain always feels “on.” Luckily, my job in the scene shop acts as a brain break during packed days. I schedule short (one to three hour) shifts that are spread throughout the week. That way, I can hang out with my work friends and be productive in a way that is totally unrelated to school stress for a bit each day.

With so many activities and responsibilities, it can be difficult to keep track of everything, so I have become an avid Google Calendar user. My g-cal is color coded and organizes almost every hour of my day. It also includes all of my homework (using Tasks) so I can check off assignments as I complete them. Each night, I look through my schedule, block off time for homework and friends, and make sure I’m prepared for the upcoming day. This makes my life slightly less overwhelming because I can visualize my day.

Since I’m currently working on two shows (Urinetown and LaughTracks Sketch Comedy), it feels like I’m always in rehearsal when I’m not in class/studying or eating. Though this can feel suffocating, I remind myself that I love what I do. Plus, I get to hang out with rehearsal friends that I might not see otherwise!

My days are packed, but I have an incredible schedule. I love learning, performing, and creating. Since I don’t have much free time, I strive to be present when I’m with my friends and remind myself that it’s ok to do nothing if I have a free hour. As a theatre major, it can feel like you’re constantly running from one thing to the next, but there are ways to slow down and make the most of your time. Organizing my homework, having a fun job, and using Google Calendar have been very helpful to me, and I recommend them to anyone feeling overwhelmed in college.



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