legs standing on single tree log

The Balancing Act

This past quarter, I felt more like a professional juggler than a student. There were more balls in the air than usual and as I struggled to maintain the rhythm, all the balls eventually came crashing to the ground.

The main balancing act involved my role as a student and social justice advocate. As greater societal issues took precedence, balancing both of these roles and their responsibilities felt increasingly overwhelming and difficult. Once school began to feel unimportant, my motivation to work on assignments significantly decreased.

As I struggled to complete my final papers, I realized that if I continued to feel constantly overwhelmed, not only would my learning suffer, but I also would not be very helpful in contributing to societal change. I had to commit to the balancing act. In my student role, this meant I needed to reframe my perspective towards assignments.

Before struggling to get through any more papers, I asked myself, “Why am I writing this paper? What is its purpose?” and “Who am I writing this for? Why is it important for people to read this?” Answering these questions instilled my papers with meaning and importance. Even with other prevalent issues going on, I realized there was still value in being a student, and as a result I felt more motivated to write.

Identifying the purpose and audience for each paper helped give my student role more weight in the balancing act. This allowed me to become more focused and feel in control, which reduced the overwhelming feelings preventing me from being a helpful ally and motivated student.

As I enter the summer quarter, I am ready to re-commit to the balancing act; in recognizing the importance of both roles, I will try my best to find the rhythm and maintain the balance.

photo of Madison Dell

Madison Dell
Virtual Writing Center Consultant
Antioch University