Art by Samantha Miller
“I’d love to meet today, but I’m just too busy.”
“I’m so overwhelmed.”
If one spends anytime walking around Pepperdine’s campus, it is likely they’ll hear these as shared complaints among students.
For fall 2021, 33% of Pepperdine students are enrolled in 17 or more units, according to Pepperdine’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness. This significant commitment to classes — in conjunction with extracurriculars, jobs and the adjustment to being back in-person — leads to many schedules being extremely booked.
With all these commitments, Pepperdine students should manage their stress by finding outlets, spending time with friends and learning how to find a balance between work, school and life by establishing boundaries.
Firstly, outlets are important components for managing a busy schedule. Having other spaces and hobbies allow one to have a space to recharge from the demands of school.
Fortunately, there are plenty of them on campus, for students, ranging from Fraternity and Sorority Life to identity-based organizations. Additionally, there are groups specifically for hobbies, such as Art Club.
Spending time on an activity you enjoy can improve your health and wellbeing, according to Head to Health, an Australian mental health organization. People with positive outlets are less likely to suffer from stress, low moods and depression.
These positive outlets can provide safe spaces for one to find community and express themselves. However, it is important to balance them to make sure they serve as sources of relaxation rather than stressors.
Secondly, spending time with friends is an important way to help manage stress. Unfortunately, for many students, that gets placed on the back burner far too often.
Whether one is introverted or extroverted, spending time with others is an important part of mental, emotional and cognitive development.
As social creatures, it is important for people to maintain friendships in conjunction with their academic and professional pursuits. One can still be successful while creating relationships with those around them. In fact, a study by Taylor & Francis showed that friends make you better on the job and help you earn money. This shows the importance of having friendships and working at the same time — it can help you get better results.
It is many people’s first instinct to spend less time with friends when confronted with a busy season. Despite this, the study concluded finding a balance of both friends and work seems ideal for both mental health and academic and career success.
Some simple ways to do this could be grabbing coffee with a friend for 30 minutes — pro tip: order ahead on Grubhub — or work with friends in a study room.
Also, with Thanksgiving Break around the corner — Nov. 24 to 28 — there is the opportunity to catch up with friends from Pepperdine and from home. It is important to use some of this time to recharge alone and with loved ones.
Finally, finding a work-life balance is important through setting boundaries.
Boundaries are the limits and rules we set for ourselves within relationships or activities. They are necessary always, but especially when trying to balance a busy schedule.
Through creating boundaries, one holds space to have responsibilities while also having time to rest and relax. Instead of saying yes to everything, healthy boundaries establish limits and respect one’s own time and energy.
In everyday life, this may look like telling friends no in order to finish an essay or deciding not to take an extra shift at work to catch up on sleep.
Boundaries look different from person to person. Establishing them in one’s own life may seem difficult at first but will help in successfully managing a busy schedule.
While Pepperdine students are still packed with things to do — even during a global pandemic — these tips will help in adding balance to their busy schedules, ultimately leading to healthier lifestyles.
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