Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
“Dear Kianna, how are you able to balance school, sports, and faith all at once? Do you have any suggestions for those aspiring to do the same? Any tips/tricks?” -Ian W.
Dear Ian, thank you so much for your wonderful questions. First of all, I’d like to mention how honored I am to be asked these questions and for the opportunity to shed some insight I have picked up on over the years. I am definitely not even close to mastering the art of time management, but I am hoping that some of my experiences with balancing daily activities can help both you, and others.
Being a full-time student, collegiate athlete, a member of various clubs, seeking to grow in my relationship with Christ through prayer and Mass, and trying to have somewhat of a social life can be hard to manage at times. There are moments when I want to pull my hair out because of feeling so stressed, overwhelmed, or pressed for time. I’m sure you can relate-we all have busy schedules.
Here’s what I would suggest: Most importantly the key to finding balance in your life is to keep God at the center of your day. Trust me, by inviting Jesus to journey and walk with you during each daily activity, task, and responsibility will change your life. What do I mean by this? Let me share with you an example from my own life. Sometimes, when I start to overpack and fill my schedule, it’s easy to forget to make time for prayer. Prayer seems like the easiest and most convenient thing to take out, right? Well, actually, I found that neglecting prayer or my relationship with God actually makes my days more chaotic and disordered. How so? Because Jesus brings peace–peace of heart, mind, and soul. Allow the Lord to guide you each day. Try spending 30 seconds on the way to class each morning and offer your day to God. He will give you the strength to manage your daily responsibilities and the graces to conquer any challenges that arise. Jesus even says to us in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Talk to Jesus, tell Him your thoughts, worries, and concerns, and be assured that He is with you.
Along with keeping God at the center of your life, I have another thought to share. Here’s the thing… if you love what you do, then this will give you the energy to persevere during the day. Let me tell you something, Ian. I have absolutely loved my time here at Saint Martin’s so far and I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to be a student athlete. While I do have difficult days at times, it is the love and enjoyment of what I do that inspires me to work hard each day. Let the passion for your schoolwork, sports, job, and/or clubs be the driving force in your life.
Finally, my advice to you is to always keep a smile on your face. This doesn’t mean that you must be happy 24/7, but rather, strive to focus on the beauty of life. Each day is a gift, a beautiful gift from God. Use each day to accomplish what you wish, make a difference, and leave our world a little better than it was before. You have been given so many blessings and talents, and just your very presence impacts the lives of others. Joy is extraordinary- it allows us to seek happiness and positivity. So yes, we have crazy-busy schedules and yes, daily activities seem overwhelming at times… but all in all, never lose track of the beauty of life, the beauty of your life.
Thanks again, Ian, for such wonderful and thoughtful questions. Know of my prayers for you and everyone at this university. God bless!