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#HonorsProblems: Finding Balance

The following blog post was written by Rachel Kaufman, a sophomore in the Milken School studying exercise science and biology.

As honors students, our favorite word is AND. We have majors (maybe two?) AND internships AND do research AND have social lives AND are involved in clubs AND sports AND sleep AND eat AND make time to give our brains a break to watch Netflix. Our love of and is wonderful, and it is what makes us the vibrant and vivacious community that we are. However, as my Origins professor wrote on all of my papers, run-on sentences are bad.

When I first got to GW, I planned on doing a double major, pre-med, the honors curriculum, varsity rowing, an internship, and three different clubs. While all of those things are fantastic, I quickly realized that there are only 24 hours in a day (and sleep is not for the weak but is actually super important to be a functioning college human). At my first Honors Small Group meeting, we got blank pie charts, and the advisors told us to fill in the pie with all of the activities, including school, that we wanted to do at GW. As I was filling in the pie chart, I realized the more things I added, the smaller the other slices got. But, I didn’t want to sacrifice all of these “and’s” I had set my mind to!

But as I learned during freshman year, quality is better than quantity. It is better to give 100% to one thing than 50% to two things. Maybe three clubs was too many, and I should pick the one I am most passionate about. Maybe instead of two majors, I could make one of them a minor. Maybe instead of an internship, I could focus on school and sports and get a summer job.  At GW, the opportunities are unlimited; unfortunately though, my time here is. In order to make the most of all the incredible opportunities GW had to offer, I had to learn to prioritize. My life could not be a long run-on sentence.

A year later, I have found balance between the few things that are most important to me, and now that I have found that balance, I feel more comfortable adding a few more slices to my pie–it is pumpkin season after all!