A student at university is already a big challenge, but some do more than just study for exams and writing assignments. The ability to juggle other activities with school, such as volunteering and work, is a rare commodity. It’s a challenge for most, but for some, it’s simply a way of life. Maybe SFU students like Michelle La and Norman Hilario can give you a glimpse into their busy but productive student lives!
1. What are you doing right now, apart from being a student?
D: Right now, I’m the marketing director of AIESEC SFU and media director of the Philippine Students Association. I also work part-time and perform as a musician.
Michelle: I am president of the Vietnamese Students ‘ Association (VSA) at the SFU, and I work as a research assistant for a professor at the SFU.
2. How does it feel to work, volunteer and be a student at the same time?
D: It actually feels quite good. You’d think taking on more responsibility would put a strain on a person, but it balances them and helps them focus!
S: Mostly stressful and sometimes overwhelming, but it can be rewarded with discipline and good time management.
3. What’s the best and worst thing about it?
D: I think the worst thing is when you forget the tasks you had to do and, of course, organise the schedule. It’s really embarrassing when you realise you’ve booked an appointment for something else, while another event or appointment has already been scheduled. So time management is very important! The best part, though, is when you realize you’ve done all these tasks. Feeling like I’m finishing all this work makes you incredibly confident in your time management skills. It’s also worth passing the time!
S: The best thing about juggling work, volunteering and schoolwork is that it helps me feel through higher productivity. It also helped me find meaning in my time, and it prevented me from spending my time on frivolous things. Worst of all, I have to sacrifice my social life. If my friends want to hang out on the weekends, I often have to turn down their invitations. If I don’t otherwise make these sacrifices, I can easily be overwhelmed with my schedule because I put my weekends aside for work.
4. What are some of the things you have learned from these experiences? Working, volunteering and studying must surely be tough!
D: I’ve learned a lot! I’ve used Vancouver referencing generator to cite used sources in my work. But to put it more simply, I’ve learned that you can do so much more than you believe! To be honest, I never knew I could be a marketing coordinator, edit various media projects and still perform as a musician in concerts. I haven’t even mentioned my part-time job or school yet! It’s pretty crazy, but the experience is worth it.
S: I’ve learned to better manage my time and priorities, and that I’m able to do all three things at the same time as long as I’m disciplined. Planning is extremely important and realistic with yourself. For example, if I know I have a big order next week, I’ll try to work extra hours the week before.
5. What advice would you like to give to prospective students who also want to be so busy and productive?
D: The biggest pieces of advice I can offer budding multitaskers out there? You’ll just know which way is best for you when you open up to what’s out there. What I mean by that is that as a future leader, you have to be willing to try anything to see what your strengths and weaknesses really are. From then on, you decide what suits you. The choice is yours!