Picture credit: dazeddigital.com
I’m a recent high school graduate, and maybe it’s because so many people have told me the importance of finding a balance between school life and personal life that I felt like writing this post today.
When one thinks of balance, it’s easy to conjure up this image:
Picture credit: infoworld.com
The idea is to level the two sides, preventing any side from tipping too far. If we placed food on the scale, we would allocate the same weight to each side. Similarly, balance between school life and personal life would require an allocation of equal time, or equal effort, or equal… equal something, right?
However, I think this model of balance is ineffective.
For years, I tried convincing myself that I needed to study more, as if that would somehow cancel out the time I “wasted” subtitling and watching Korean dramas. I’m going to spend two hours studying calculus, and then I’ll give myself a break. That was my mentality. Instead, the timeframe I set for myself only allowed more procrastination. Two hours sounded leisurely, so my concentration levels would lower.
Studying more did not mean studying better. I was devoting, at least theoretically, more time to school life, and yet this only hindered my studying capabilities. Maybe I was getting the whole concept of balance wrong.
Recently, I was at orientation for the college I will be attending next fall. One of the speakers said something interesting. He said that balance was a matter of prioritizing the important things. He mentioned a story where a man filled a jar with stones, beginning with the larger ones and then smaller pebbles, and then gradually, sand.
Now I view balance not as a scale, but moreso like a jar. My original mindset had contorted all stones into the same size, placing them into the jar with no attention to order. But really I have a jar of limited time, yet with unlimited possibilities for how to spend it.