Being Too Busy: What to Cut and How to Make the Decision

Hsieh.HowToMakeTheDecisionFor our parents, being busy means obliging to a 9-5 job, keeping their credit score in check and an array of things that we can’t even imagine at the moment. However, they’ve had years of practicing balance and prioritizing. For us, it’s not that easy yet.

Going to a huge school with hundreds of people in classes and usually at least five syllabi to track down is just the beginning. Some of us go the extra mile (or five) and join a few clubs.

Even further, we strive for leadership positions in these clubs, and even further we become officers in these clubs. Let’s add on a gym schedule. Maybe you tutor on the side. Maybe you have a part-time job and maybe you’re even juggling an internship, too.

The million-dollar question is how exactly you plan on handling everything at once, and more so, excelling—not just getting by. Valley’s mapped out the answer, but first you need to figure out what is most important to you.


Thanks to the general system of our school, even if we have a good idea of what we want to do, we still have to take gen-eds that may have absolutely nothing to do with our interests. We do, however, have an option on what exact gen-eds we want, which makes life easier.

If you’re stuck in a class you don’t have to take (in a subject you’ll never care about you) you may have made a little error on choosing the class, especially if it’s affecting your GPA. Dropping the class may not be such a bad idea of the class is nothing but a leech killing your chances at dean’s list.


So let’s say the classes have to stay. After all, you are a student before anything else and it’s important to remember that. You should look at the clubs you’re in. Is this specific club one in which you feel really happy and purposeful? Keep it!

If it just seems like a lot of work you could sidestep and drop at any time and never look back? Get rid of it. Also, don’t just look at your clubs in the light of whether or not it’s going to look good on your résumé. If you’re not enjoying it and it’s not for you, it will show. Your recommendations won’t be as satisfying later.

Career Builders or Part-Time Jobs 

Okay, so school is expensive. A lot of students take on jobs which offset the stresses of at least a portion of school. But…if the job is becoming a nuisance and distraction from your schoolwork, you may come out of school with a lousy GPA and a super-cool skill set of wrapping gifts or making a great sandwich. Um…not exactly career-worthy.

At the same time, internships are also important when it comes to garnering experience for an entry-level job. Internships are meant to give you a learning experience no matter what, and it’s always great to stick it out.

However, in extreme situations of harassment or even something as subtle as daily embarrassment in front of co-workers for something in which you had no control, you may want to talk it out with your supervisor.

Balancing everything can be hard, but it’s important to keep your priorities in perspective and make sure that first and foremost, your studies are top-notch. Everything below that is meant to build up around your awesome intellect and strengthen yourself as a future employee. Don’t burn yourself out—keep the flame strong!

Photo by Jonathan Hsieh 


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