There are two specific times in my life that I realized how important it was for me to prioritize: spring semester senior year and now (one year after graduating).
Senior Year: Spring Semester
For the record, I’ve always done my best to prioritize, but senior year spring semester my skills were put to the test. Being an active member of my college community (which meant being over involved) I had to cut back in order to focus on postgraduate plans. One afternoon I received a call from an individual that had the audacity to lecture me over my choice to work on a group project and future endeavors versus participating in an event for an extracurricular activity.
I used logic to prioritize the circumstance. I chose to attend college to get a degree, the extracurricular activities were a perk that would not make or break (emphasis on break) my ability to get a job. I didn’t pay $160k for extracurriculars.
My priorities, in order, were my education, internships, anything related to film/TV (due to my career choice), and clubs/orgs. If I didn’t know it before, that conversation solidified my decision. One that many, including students that I know, are currently struggling with.
Every aspect of my time in college contributed to my personal skills and abilities, but most of the things I participated in did not travel with me into my professional life. My “resume builders” are insignificant compared to the work of my experienced coworkers. My current job makes everything on my resume look silly. It feels as though the lines read:
Recess Expert – Vena Wilburn Elementary (2000-2001)
- Demonstrated sitting and strength skills on the slide, swings, and monkey bars
- Maintained confidential files and secrets of various peers
- Organized and lead co-classmates in a single file line
Year One: After College
Within my first year out of college, my goal was to get a job. I moved to LA and got a job six days later (✓). I got an apartment before arriving (✓); this was a risk. I had my car shipped (✓). I set a budget and began working and taking on my new adult responsibilities.
Once I did all the things one is “supposed to do” after graduating, I found myself with a large amount of freedom. Outside of work I could do whatever I wanted. This was scary. I decided it would be a good idea to create a second income. I didn’t do this by getting a weekend job…at least, not exactly.
I started my own business. Another risk, but it allowed me to utilize my creative skills. I also began working on a website, which has been put on hold while I focus on the business. Finally, I decided to focus on my physical health. I spent quite a bit of time compiling research and plan to implement these finding into my lifestyle.
This time I’m doing things a little differently. I find nothing wrong with prioritizing, but my focus is on finding a balance and deciding what deserves priority on a given day or week.
NOW, going into my second year out of college, I’m adding a few things to my list. I’m working on acquiring new skills to contribute to my business and taking advantage of the eager young talent that I’m surrounded by in LA. I’m furthering my balance in health, business endeavors, TV career goals, and working on skills I wish to acquire.
What are your thoughts? What are you prioritizing or balancing?
Pizza, Netflix, and Happiness. Mei.