One of the most exciting things in college is being able to immerse yourself in orgs and student councils and hone your leadership skills. From being able to participate in almost all of the school events to mingling with different people from in and out of the campus, there's definitely a lot of perks when you're a student leader. As much as it sounds exciting, being a student leader requires time management in all areas of your life.
So, on top of your academics and extra-curricular activities that all demand to be your priority, do you even have time to date?
21-year-old Toni Lazanas is currently working under Star Cinema as a Digital Content Producer, but before she became an employed young adult, she was once a Student Council President in college. When asked how she became an SC President, she shared, "I was appointed by the Office of Student Affairs Office Director at the time. I was the incumbent Public Relations Officer of the same council (the only student leadership-related experience I had before the Presidency) when the Director offered me the position."
At the same time, she was also dating someone. You would think that she had the best of both worlds, but that's where you're wrong. She had a hard time balancing her responsibilities given the fact that she also has classes and schoolwork to attend to. If you're experiencing the same thing of being an officer, a student, and a girlfriend all at the same time, we listed down the things that you should keep in mind!
1. It's important to learn how to balance your time wisely.
Since both school and relationships are important, you have to learn how to manage your time. In Toni's case, she had a hard time valuing and showing appreciation to her relationship which she never intended to happen. "I remember there was this moment when I got so busy handling a huge event in our school, so I was always on the phone to contact people and potential sponsors. And when me and my boyfriend would meet, I always checked my phone which in return made him mad. Since I noticed that he wasn't happy, I hid my phone to show him that he's more important to me. But I couldn't endure it, so I went to the bathroom and secretly checked my phone. I responded to emails and messages not knowing how long I was in there already, and when I went out, he already left." Balancing your time in your dating and school life and not mixing them up is the key not to fail at either of the two.
2. Be with someone who understands your situation.
As much as it's necessary for you to manage your time wisely, it's also important that you date someone who understands your situation and duties. Toni says, "Since I dated a guy who's already working, it wasn't easy to schedule a date for us to go out and spend time together. There would be times when he would get jealous over my guy colleagues because I'm always with them." But one thing that really stuck to Toni's mind as a lesson learned is this: "There's a school event that had a problem with the program flow. Due to this, the council received a lot of negative feedback. I wasn't good in handling negative comments at the time, so I got mentally and physically drained. I didn't have enough energy after that for a few days, and my boyfriend told me that he couldn't talk to me because I was aloof. He got mad at me, saying I always made him feel awful even if he knew I was going through a rough time." Toni now knows that a mature relationship is two parties completely supporting each other, even if it's hard to do so.
3. Don't let your relationship problems affect your responsibility.
It's normal to have moments when you just couldn't function well because you and your boyfriend fought. But you have to understand that being a student leader is out of the context of your relationship. Toni shares, "You cannot sacrifice the student body just for anybody, even if it's your boyfriend. Of course, he's important in your life, but you accepted the duty to spearhead the council and the whole student body—it's like 1 versus 100."
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4. Set your priorities straight.
Of course, you can't make two things your number one priority. One way or the other, there's always going to be something that you'll have to focus on more at some point. You don't have to lose any of the two, but you have to know the consequences and if it's something worth risking. In Toni's experience, she knew that she should focus on her president duties more because t was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "Since I wanted to make both things work, I'd work harder in becoming a great Council President, but I also needed to communicate with my partner more often, talk to him about my ideals and goals in life, my plans for the council, and my acads life as a whole. By this time, I knew I needed a partner who would support me whole-heartedly."
5. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Not everyone gets to experience being a Council President and be able to have a dating life outside of it. That's why if you're in the same scenario as Toni before, she wants you to remember to enjoy it while you're there. "There's a lot of perks in being a president. You'll be geared up for the workplace, there would be a lot of exposure, involvement in the planning and actual execution that would totally boost your self-confidence, and you'll be proud of what you've accomplished at the end of it. Plus, it's also a nice feeling when your partner willingly assists you by being your runner for your president duties, helps you catch up with your schoolworks, and simply be your personal cheerleader."
It's been a rollercoaster ride, but this is something Toni would never ever regret experiencing. There were countless breakdowns, self-doubt, and role conflicts before she graduated college and survived the council life.Having a boyfriend just made it ten times more challenging and exciting. She was also running for Magna Cum Laude at the time and actually ended up being one! Live your campus life to the fullest but make sure you set your priorities straight, and you'll surely have a college experience for the books!
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