Are you spreading yourself too thin? Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

Here we are with just about one month left of this semester.

Semesters remind me of Ravel’s “Bolero.” They start out softly, but just keep building, building and building. We hear the dramatic crashing cymbals at the end. Your goal is to have the crashing cymbals represent your victory — the finale of a job well done — as opposed to simply crashing!

At the start of the semester, tests, mid-terms and finals seem so far away. Student organizations are typically in the planning stages. You might get the feeling that it is all so manageable. You take on a few more commitments: a part-time job (or two), volunteer for something (or a few things), sign up for a competition, project, etc. As the weeks go by, you are busy, but keeping on top of things.

Suddenly, it seems like everything is due at once! You discover that you need more time for each task than what you had planned. You find that there are not enough hours in the day. You try to stretch days by sleeping less, but soon realize that lack of sleep makes you so much less productive.

Finding work/life balance is a challenge you will face for many years to come. A realistic assessment of our own abilities (and limitations) might be initially humbling, but having a good grasp of what we need to handle various tasks and situations is an extremely valuable skill.

So, what are you going to do? Step back and take a deep breath! This is not the time to try to be a superhero. Be realistic. Make a list and prioritize. What are the things that you can eliminate or put off? Do you need help? If you do, be sure to ask for and get it.

Many of you have learned from experience and discovered the strategies that work best for you. Please consider sharing your end-of-the-semester survival tips with other Fulton Schools students by commenting on this article.

Finally, remember there are Fulton Schools faculty and staff, peer mentors and peer career coaches who are here to help you.


Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.