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How 4 Simple Rules Help This College Student Navigate School While Pursuing Her Dreams

What do you do in your spare time?

I started asking myself this same question just a few weeks ago. It started off as more of an absent thought in an attempt to explain why my homework wasn’t getting done.

I had three major assignments waiting to be started yet somehow I had absolutely no time to do them. Add in a strong case of senioritis and you have the perfect recipe for distracting yourself from school.

So if I was putting off my homework until last minute, what was I really doing throughout the day?

So I did what any millennial would do when they want to know more about themselves: I went to my Instagram page to see where all my time was going.

Amongst coffee cups and smoothie bowls, there were images of me through someone else’s eyes. From mock NARS advertisements to recreations of iconic Chanel images, it was clearly evident that I had been participating in a bunch of student directed fashion photoshoots. I was also doing a ton of writing, reading, and shopping.

(Photo via @stylebyalexis)

I was discovering “me.” I was immersing myself in the fashion industry. But at the same time, I was placing school on the back burner to explore my passions.

Now, although I do believe that self-discovery and self-awareness are crucial to living your best life, I also had to bring myself back to reality.

I wanted to do all of these things, like creating fashion films and being on the sets of photoshoots, that writing another five paragraph essay seemed redundant after being in school for over 16 years. School was starting to become a nuisance instead of the solution. I wanted to be chasing after my dreams. But I felt trapped in the school system.

How can I achieve all of the goals I have set for myself when I have trend reports, look books, and marketing campaigns to produce?

It seemed impossible.

(Photo via @stylebyalexis)

I knew I had a personal obligation to remain dedicated to school but I also knew that I owed it to myself to listen to my instincts and go after what I wanted.

So I came up with four rules:

1—School comes first

2—Only say yes to things I absolutely support and want to do

3—Ensure that my spare time is contributing to my passions and not hindering my progression

4—Be honest about my limits and what I actually have the time to do

These four rules help me center my thoughts before I commit to doing anything. Not only do they help me prioritize what matters most to me but they allow me to have enough space to remain well-rested and inspired.

If I prioritize school at the top of my list, I can work towards completing my homework first so that I have free time to do what I want to do on the weekends.

If I limit what I commit myself to I can give my undivided attention to create something wonderful instead of “just alright”.

By maximizing my free time to be dedicated towards what I love, I can reduce FOMO (FOMO= fear of missing out). No FOMO means no regrets and nothing feels better than living a regret-free life.

Last but not least, if I can have a healthy relationship with time and the things I need to get done in the day, I can protect myself from losing faith in my passions and goals.

(Photo via @stylebyalexis)

So if you ever feel like school is getting in the way just remember that school is a stepping stone and not the destination. It’s definitely annoying writing paper after paper but each one you write will be a step closer to actually living your dream life once you graduate.

Take the time to prioritize what really matters to you. Try leaving the week days strictly for school work so that you can let your creativity and imagination run wild on the weekends.

And don’t forget, just because you don’t want to do your homework doesn’t mean you can just not do it. There’s always something to be learned no matter what environment your in. Strive to make the classroom lessons and school resources applicable to what you want to do in your life.

How do you balance juggling school and following your passions? Share with us in the comments below!