C/O Avel Chuklanov, Unsplash

Prioritizing work and school over social commitments is something to be proud of

By: Ardena Bašić, Contributor

The stereotype surrounding university and college years often involves abundant partying, going to events and socializing in general. While this is one way of ensuring one doesn’t miss out on “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities, it sometimes needs to take a backseat to other priorities, namely school and work. While this might lead to some FOMO — fear of missing out — it is important to respect such prioritization when it arises and realize that the benefits far outweigh the costs. 

Even most schools recognize that social gatherings are an integral part of student life, ensuring that there are plenty of on-campus events to bring students together. Homecoming and Welcome Week activities offer such examples. While the concept of meeting and engaging with new people is intriguing in and of itself, most people also feel pressure to do so in order to ‘fit in’ and not miss out on such experiences. 

Unfortunately, it is quite arduous to try and attend all these events while balancing other responsibilities. It is crucial to realize that, while there is always a party around the corner, education and work needs to be prioritized to foster a stable and prosperous future. While this is an understandable concept, peer pressure and trying to adhere to the ‘norms’ of a post-secondary education may blur that important notion. 

The idea of FOMO has become even more pronounced after COVID-19. For more than a year, the majority of our get-togethers have either been cancelled or done through a screen. What’s more is that our obligations have also been more flexible, with many schools, jobs and extracurriculars being moved online or to a hybrid format to accommodate these unprecedented times. 

It is clear to see why most people, especially students, are eager to get back to a ‘new normal’. Yet, we also need to return to finding a balance between the things we want to do, and the things we need to do. 

It is clear to see why most people, especially students, are eager to get back to a ‘new normal’. Yet, we also need to return to finding a balance between the things we want to do, and the things we need to do.

Ardena Bašić, Contributor

When we decide to forgo an event in favour of an assignment or an extra work shift, we should really be proud of ourselves for being able to make that decision. When there are so many things on our plate, it can be difficult to be honest with ourselves on what we really need to focus on. 

This is especially true given that transcending societal norms can be daunting, especially  considering the potential reactions from one’s peers. Instead of seeing yourself as a “buzz-kill” the next time you skip a party, reconsider that perspective to realize the effort you are putting into yourself and your future development. 

Alongside overcoming the barriers to making such a decision, putting in a little more work over play can also help ebb the difficulty one has finding employment or a spot in a post-graduate program. Although the potential increase in grades from extra study time may not be applicable everywhere, the skills in work ethic, time management and organization are invaluable for most employers.

Although the potential increase in grades from extra study time may not be applicable everywhere, the skills in work ethic, time management and organization are invaluable for most employers.

Ardena Bašić, Contributor

Moreover, if time is spent on part time and internship opportunities, that will allow for an even wider range of capabilities and relevant experiences to bolster one's resume. It may not be transparent at first, but a work-life balance — or even a scale with a slight prioritization towards work — pays off graciously in the long run. 

While you may think partying means you’re enjoying your youth, there is more to this stage of life than just socializing. This is the time when we are working to search for what we are passionate about, find out what our true life goals are, and continue to grow and learn each and every day. Despite what may come from missing out on one area of life from time-to-time, there are always endless new things to discover behind another door.

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