From the ripe age of three, my mother used to tell me, “Pan metron ariston” — a Greek proverb meaning “Balance is right.” Little did my mother know that I would be using this saying to guide my way through dating.
Our school attracts students who are passionate, dedicated, focused, and creative. Along with pursuing our dream careers, most of us are busy with extracurricular activities and academics. In the midst of this bustling life, how do we manage a crazy calendar when we’ve found someone we want to have a relationship with? This is where balance comes in.
In the past, I was extremely involved in academics and extracurriculars. My meal times consisted of me running to get takeout. I had maybe 30 minutes off, which I spent watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. While I felt accomplished every day, I was imbalanced.
Until a guy I really liked asked me out. For the sake of anonymity, I’ll call him Stan. I had to put a hold on my sprints to get food to-go and take the time to go on a real dinner date — one that took up more than half an hour of my day. As I was talking to Stan and nibbling on fluffy French bread, a long-forgotten feeling of warmth and comfort came over me. Something as simple as hanging out with Stan and eating fresh food made me feel as happy as a little girl finally in the great outdoors after spending all day in her room doing homework.
Going out with Stan made me happy, not only because I liked him, but because it provided a well-needed balance. As we continued dating, I began spending more time with him. Before I knew it, I was watching the sunset with Stan instead of studying. Rather than making sure I was helping out my organizations, Stan and I were cuddling on my cozy bed and watching Parks and Recreation. Soon, a feeling of dismay began to sink in — I had become imbalanced again. There was too much of Stan and not enough of everything else.
While it would have been awesome if days were longer than 24 hours and humans could stay awake all day, this was not reality. The reality was that I needed to fit Stan, academics, and extracurricular activities all in a day — and I had to find out how. After some thought, I realized what I needed to do. Here are some tips that helped me keep everything in balance.
1. Be honest about your priorities. If your significant other truly cares, he or she will be supportive of your desire to succeed in academics and extracurricular activities.
2. Make sure you dedicate time every day to talk to them. This way you can stay in touch, even if you only shared little snippets of your day.
3. Devote at least one day a week to spending time with them. These are ways you can reward yourself after a hard day’s work and to be honest, cuddling with someone you love is a great motivator.
Once I did this, my relationship with Stan improved. There were times when we missed each other, but we would rather have spent a small amount of time with each other than none at all. I understand that your schedule may be different, so feel free to use my story as an example to work from. Just know — achieving a balance between college and relationships is possible!