Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!
By Erika Myers
How in the world are we all supposed to manage the working world and still enjoy life? Believe it or not, there is a way…I promise!
So you’re a college student, huh? Ah, the days of being able to schedule classes so you didn’t have to wake up early, didn’t have to sit in class late and have Fridays off. I’m guessing it was daunting for some of you to think about carrying 16 credit hours and finding the time to get all your assignments done, study and have time left over to work and maybe have some fun at the establishments on Grand River with your friends.
Sadly, it won’t get any easier after you leave the friendly confines of MSU. I won’t sugarcoat it: being an adult is hard! No one gives you a manual on how to properly “adult”, and what all comes along with just getting a job after graduation. We’re all told time and time again that all we do in college is to get us ready for the “real working world.”
Get an internship!
Get good grades!
Find a job!
But what about the rest of life? Working is all fine and good for about 40(ish) hours a week, but there are 128 more hours in a week. How do we best utilize those 128 hours to not forget about having some fun, taking time to enjoy where you live and to participate in your hobbies. It’s amazing but 128 hours never seems to be enough.
As someone who’s been in the “real world” for 21 years, I’ll give you some inside tips on how this all works and what I’ve found to be helpful for me. It may not work for everyone, but worth giving some of these a shot!
Right now I work full time, have two young children, am training for my 4th Ironman triathlon (along with my husband who is training for his 1st Ironman) and I constantly have to figure out how to fit it all in and keep my sanity in the process. The sanity part is usually the one that gets left behind but I’m trying to work on that! Here are some tips on what I’ve found to work well for me:
- Manage your calendar
- It sounds like such a simple concept, but I find if I don’t literally schedule everything my world falls apart
- Google calendar shared with a significant other or friend/accountability partner is a great tool to keep everyone moving in the same direction
- Don’t forget to schedule time for yourself – even if it’s 15 minutes a day blocked to read a magazine or do something other than check email or social media
- Don’t sweat the small stuff and take a deep breath
- I get it – it’s cliché but it’s so true and something everyone can do better
- I tell my 8-year-old this when she gets frustrated with something but in reality, I need to do this too!
- Stopping to re-assess and re-evaluate is sometimes the best thing you can do to avoid saying or doing something irrational or that you’ll regret
- Have a good support system
- Even before you have children, it’s completely true that “it takes a village”
- This applies to anyone’s life with multiple moving parts – sometimes you need to lean on someone to help you through
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Put your village to work for you – don’t be shy to raise your hand and let someone know you need them
- People LOVE to help but tend to be shy about offering it – just ask and I bet you’ll be surprised at the answer and willingness of your people to jump in for whatever you need
- I scream it from the rooftops anytime I can – your MSU alumni family is there to support you in every step of life
- No matter where you end up working, you’ll always find a Spartan to help – use us!
- Find something you’re passionate about
- It may not be your full time job that pays the bills, but make sure you don’t lose sight of things you enjoy
- Make time for them and make it a priority whenever you can
I know I’m dating myself but one of my favorite movies of all time is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. There are so many memorable lines and scenes in that movie but one always sticks out to me and has become my mantra. As you work towards graduation, leaving MSU, and becoming an amazing alumnus of our great university (as well as an adult surviving in the “real” world), don’t forget the following spoken so eloquently by Ferris:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Cheers to you all and Go Green!
Erika Myers is a proud MSU alumna, class of 1997 from the School of Journalism. Erika’s career has taken many twists and turns from being an intern at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, to working in the production truck for ESPN at college football and NHL hockey games, to account coordination/management roles at a variety of advertising agencies, to sales support, to pharmaceutical/medical device sales, currently as a Senior Project Manager for Stryker Medical Corporation.
Erika’s personal brand is all things customer-centric and continuing to improve relationship skills both inside and outside of work. Erika lives in Canton with her husband Rob (Broad College of Business, class of 1999) and their two daughters, and future Spartans, Julia and Emily.
She is an avid triathlete currently training for her 4th Ironman (in Maryland, September 29th), enjoys volunteering, traveling, and tailgating for MSU football games. Spartans Will!