“3 Golden Words”: How I Learned to Successfully Balance Work & Life at GW

Sivan Sherriffe

Guest Blogger: Sivan Sherriffe, Class of 2015

Before I came to college, I was advised to live by these three golden words: “Manage. Your. Time.”  Family members, peers who had already gone through at least one year of college and even college forums and blogs had mentioned that time management was key to having a successful college experience.  Did I agree to follow their advice? Yes.  Did I actually follow their advice? Yes and no.

When I came to GW I knew I wanted to get good grades (of course), join student organizations, explore DC, and find a job.  I was apprehensive but determined to fit work into my schedule.  I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, wanting to do everything.  I ignored the three golden words (temporarily), but through trial-and-error I eventually learned how to use those golden words of wisdom and effectively incorporated work into my life here at GW.

Based on my experiences, I’ve listed below some do’s and don’ts I’d suggest on managing your time and fitting work into your college life:

DO:

  • attend the multiple programs, workshops, career and internship fairs and industry expos that the GW Center for Career Services (CCS) hosts. The GW Fall 2013 Career & Internship Fair is coming up at the beginning of the Fall semester – September 12 – so get prepared now!
  • take advantage of GWork – your own online personal employment management center! You can research jobs, internships, on-campus recruiting and RSVP for the dozens of CCS programs, workshops, and events held every semester.
  • use a planner.  It is the greatest feeling to cross off a completed task (or maybe I’m just weird. But just try it.)
  • maintain a monthly calendar in your room.
  • read the “Abouts” – you know, the “About Us” or “Our Mission Statement” or “What We Do” tabs on the jobs sections of company websites.  It is important to know what the job is all about.  Then, you can picture yourself sharing the same passion.
  • talk to upperclassmen and find out how they fit work into their lives.
  • remember that academics come first.

DON’T:

  • wait until the end of your sophomore year to utilize CCS. I regretted waiting and so will you.
  • try to be a part of every student organization. It’s physically impossible.
  • take on a job that is consuming your life.
  • question your ability while at work.  You were hired for a reason.  If you question yourself while at work, you will stress yourself out.  If you stress yourself out while at work, you will stress yourself out in other aspects of your college experience.
  • be scared or nervous to talk to your boss/employer/supervisor about things such as scheduling, questions and concerns.

Like I said before, I learned through trial-and-error.  However, I eventually found my niche and discovered that working for DC Reads on the weekends worked for me.  I discovered that working for Colonial Inauguration in the role of Staffer during the spring and summer worked for me.  Because of the three golden words, my work experiences were amazing and helped shape my life here at GW.

Sivan, a rising junior from Colts Neck, New Jersey, is majoring in journalism and mass communication.

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