As I entered my junior year of college, I could not have been more excited for all the different roles that I was going to be playing throughout campus. 

I was going to be chief announcer at The Globe, photo editor for The Record, a photographer for Comm-Mar, continue my work at Sauder Concert Hall and hoped that many more opportunities would present themselves. 

As the semester started, I was bursting with energy, ready to start into these jobs and take them to the next level; however, I found that one thing consistently got in my way: classes.

Now, I know, one paragraph in and a college student is already complaining about the very thing that they came to college to do. But somehow, I can’t shake the feeling that classes have taken away from my learning this semester. 

I have been bogged down with homework and had to say no to experiences that would have fulfilled me and helped me in my career. 

When I entered college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, but I went with a music major and a communication minor. By the time sophomore year rolled around, I had dropped music and fully committed to communication. This was the right choice for me — the things that sucked me in were my involvement in the extracurriculars like The Globe and The Record. 

I was being supported by my fellow students and my faculty advisers to push myself to create better and more concise content. 

The times when I feel this the most are during contest time with The Globe, where content is slowly combed through and edits and criticism abound. The time working on contest pieces makes you better in the long run because you start to understand what is “good” and how you can consistently be better. 

It’s worth noting that while none of those above things are for classes, my classes have informed me and made me a more well-rounded person. This semester I have enjoyed learning more Spanish, a bit about human sociology, and how society views communication. This well roundedness is one reason I chose a liberal arts education at Goshen College. 

I wonder if there could be a better system for students like me, who love being hands-on and wanting to be working in my field as much as I can. There are some ways for me to get credit for this work, but not enough to sustain me as a full-time student and earn my degree. 

I am going to have to take classes; I am going to have to juggle lots of responsibilities; I am going to have to do it all while trying to make time for my personal relationships. But one thing is for certain: I will never regret my college experiences. Balancing all these things and finding who I am in the mess of it all is immensely valuable. 

Balance is a fickle thing because often you never know if you have achieved it in the moment — you only look back and realize when something was taking up more of your time and energy. I have full confidence that when I leave college I will be more aware of the balance in my life and how to manage it.