The Life of a Student Leader: Balancing your Time and Money and Friends and Commitments and Breathing

Dan Robertson - VP Communications
Posted on: October 29, 2017

Hey everyone! Hopefully you’ve all survived midterms and are getting back into the swing of things. Not much has happened within my portfolio in the last 2 weeks, and I’ve been absolutely swamped with midterms, papers, quizzes, interviews, and coding challenges. Speaking of being swamped, I figured I’d take some time to point out some pros and cons of being a student leader.

Engineering brings a heavy work load, and for many students learning how to study and manage time is key. I’ll never forget the talk on time management I got every year in high school, and how I thought I understood, and realized I had no idea what I was doing when I got hit with 40 hours of class per week, countless hours outside of class spent working on labs, and normal homework and studying on top of that – and I wasn’t even involved in EngSoc or other extracurriculars at that point. I’ll be honest, first year was rough. Between the new-found freedom, actually living in a city (aka having things to do), and, compared to home, having the world at my fingertips, well… not much work was getting done. The work I was getting done was terrible and last minute. Midterms was a rude awakening, and I knew I’d have to get it together if I wanted to get involved with EngSoc, ambassadors, and do intramurals, etc.

Since then I’ve learned how to prioritize my mental health, studies, extracurriculars, and sleep. Sleep has always been key for me; keeping me in good spirits and for retaining information learned in class. On top of that I’ve found it helpful to schedule your time either by to-do lists, full on hour-by-hour schedules, or somewhere in between. I always leave some time to hang out with friends or unwind watching Netflix.

So how does all this relate to being a student leader? Well, being a student leader brings extra responsibilities whether as an EngSoc Exec, director, an ambassador, a member of a student design team, or leading another club/group on campus. This extra responsibility adds more time and stress to your life, but it also comes with so many great opportunities. From making new friends, to networking, to competitions, there are so many ways to grow as a person, and further your career by gaining experience in different areas. You also develop even better time management skills and various other leadership skills. Overall, I’d recommend anyone to push themselves to get involved in an area they’re passionate about. If passionate enough, become a leader in that area, be a role model for others to look up to, and grow as a person. It’ll be worth it.