It’s a Balancing Act: How I Managed to Ride My Horse in College Amongst a Million Other Responsibilities

Someone recently asked me how I managed to balance all of the things I have going on in my life and I didn’t really know how to answer their question. I have always been pretty ambitious when it came to anything I wanted to do and I knew that I was busy more often than not, but I had never really thought about how I handled it all. I just did it. I never really gave myself an option to not handle it all.

My junior and senior years were really the peak of how many things I had piled onto my plate. Between being a Resident Assistant at college, riding on and captaining a competitive intercollegiate equestrian team, buying and riding a new horse, maintaining a GPA to graduate with honors while taking 21+ credits for a major and a minor, working to support my horse, being in a healthy relationship, creating and writing my own blog, and trying to have a social life, it could be tough to keep my head above the water sometimes. So the question is, how did I do it?

  • BUY AN AGENDA – This sounds so simple, and it is. When you have so many different things to keep track of, an agenda is your best friend. I purchase a new daily planner each year and I try to find one with a fun pattern on it so I am more likely to use it (Lilly Pulitzer always has ones with beautiful patterns inside and out). I like to plan and write down EVERYTHING that I am committed to inside my agenda. This helps prevent me from forgetting about something I need to do and makes it much easier to figure out what task I need to complete first.
  • USE YOUR PHONE – Most smartphones have a calendar app of some sort. I eat, sleep, and breathe by mine. By scheduling out my time in my phone’s calendar and color coding it, I know where I need to be and when I need to be there. Plus the colors make it all a little more fun. It makes finding time for yourself a lot less stressful. Speaking of that…
  • MAKE SOME “ME TIME” – Life can get stressful really quickly, so it is important to still make time to relax. Whether it be a few minutes to listen to some music or an hour to ride your horse, schedule yourself some “me time”. Find what helps you keep your sanity and cherish every single moment you get to do whatever it is. I like to take a few hours and spend them at the barn with Ax. Sometimes a few hours turns into all day.
  • SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE – This one is SUPER DUPER important. No one needs negative people in their life, and when you’re a busy bee it is hard to keep focus when your friends are trying to pull you away. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who understand how busy I am. I am also fortunate enough to have a family and boyfriend who are extremely supportive of all the crazy things I decide to do and who are willing to help out when things get tough.
  • SLEEP and if not, COFFEE – I am such a hypocrite because I never get enough sleep. Like ever. I am always up until way too late, sleep for a few hours, and regret it in the morning. As a result I have become a caffeine addict. When I need my coffee, I NEED MY COFFEE. But on those rare nights that I do go to bed at a reasonable hour, I wake up feeling like a new woman. Seriously, it is amazing what a full nights sleep can do. I find that the more sleep I get, the more motivated and productive I am the next day.
  • MULTITASK – I feel like my mom has been telling me to to do this since forever. More often that not, you can get two things done at once. When I am on campus rounds we must remain in our building, so it forces me to stay in and do my homework. I can admit to cooling out Ax while reading something for class or typing a new blog post. Or I will bring my boyfriend to the barn with me, so I get to spend time with both of them at once. It is surprisingly easy to kill to birds with one stone if you get a little creative.
  • Most importantly, NEVER QUIT – No matter how full your plate feels or how heavy the world is on your shoulders, quitting isn’t an option. And if you feel like it may all come tumbling down, find someone to lean on. Whether it be a friend, a significant other, or a family member, there is always someone there to help. When there is no option to quit, the only choice is to keep fighting. Hannah Brencher said, “Maybe no one ever told you that but that’s the sweet spot– the moment you want to give up but nothing in the air around you is willing to accept you walking out the door as a quitter today.” I don’t think that sentence could be more true. Whenever I feel like giving up, I find the sweet spot, grab it, and run with it.

Handling all the things in my life is nothing short of a balancing act. But if I can balance on a horse, then I can balance my life.

Fall 😍

-TC

18 thoughts on “It’s a Balancing Act: How I Managed to Ride My Horse in College Amongst a Million Other Responsibilities

  1. Centered in the Saddle says:

    Great points! Sometimes it’s crazy how much I have going on, too – between a full time job, horses, owning a small business on the side, maintaining relationships with friends, blogging…whew. Sometimes it feels like a lot. It’s a good idea to multitask like you said! I use my commute almost every day to call my parents to keep in touch, for example.

    Keep it up! You’re doing great! 🙂

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  2. Lynn says:

    Yes to agendas and sleep! While I’m no longer a college student, I still use my agenda to plan out my days. I thought i lost it a few months ago and I internally FREAKED out (luckily I just misplaced it). I’m also big on going to bed early so I can do my 8 hours of work 8-4 M-F and still have energy to ride right after. And of course, coffee helps 😉

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  3. Susan Friedland-Smith says:

    I’m reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington. She claims it’s good to evaluate the To-Do list and freely nix items. Sleep more, multitask less. Put electronic devices to bed far away from yourself. Charge them in another room. Our culture values busyness and multitasking and an ongoing lifestyle of this takes a toll. Stress is not a virtue. I’ve been challenged by her ideas. And I love the fact Huff Post offices have nap rooms. Nice job perk!

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    • Terise Cole says:

      Multitasking just isnt for some people. I have heard feedback on the good and the bad of it. I like to do mutilpe things together to cross things off my to do list easier. Plus it helps me save time. And I am definitely jealous of nap rooms.

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  4. monica says:

    I seriously dont know how you do it. I worked full time in college and took over the max limit of credits to graduate on time and did literally nothing else and was drowning. My sleep suffered. Now I make a point to get at least 6 hours because I can MORE done if I’m alert and refreshed.
    I’m with you on the agenda though, I LIVE by mine. Not so much the phone, I hate iphones and it takes more time to put it in my phone than write it down haha. Props to you lady, I get anxious just reading all thats on your plate!

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  5. Olivia says:

    Just discovered your blog and I love this! I really love your attitude of “just doing it,” and having that confidence that you can handle it. Excited to see you and Ax have new adventures in 2015!

    Like

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