Sometimes, there isn’t balance — that’s okay

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Photo Credit: Brittany Le | Daily Texan Staff

Daily Texan: What are your commitments at UT? 

Eugene Han: I’m a third year student from a small town called Coppell, Texas. I’m currently working on my degree in Business Honors from McCombs. After joining the Undergraduate Business Council my first semester here, I’ve been committed to serving the business school alongside a group of 100 other brilliant and exceptionally different students. 

When I have downtime, I can really get lost in building a championship team for Fantasy Football and laying off the pounds at the gym. I’ve also enjoyed hosting campus-wide events and immersing myself in community service through the Texas Blazers. Through my work with Consult Your Community, I quickly developed an interest for management consulting after working with underserved businesses, non-profits and startups in the Austin community through pro-bono projects. To go scratch this itch, next summer I will be working as an Associate Consultant Intern with Bain & Company in Dallas, Texas. 

DT: How do you balance everything? 

EH: To be very honest, there isn’t a lot of balance. Surely I can stay organized with my Google Calendar and make sure I’m not missing any of my responsibilities. However, as long as my schedule is packed, that means I have less time to spend on other commitments. It’s imperative that people realize when they’re in auto-pilot mode throughout the semester. Being intentional about your time will help. The work hard, play hard model works in this case, but it can be draining. Usually sleeping in on the weekends helps me recharge.     

DT: Are there things you have to prioritize, such as especially difficult classes or a job you depend on? 

EH: I find myself prioritizing my time with my involvements outside of the classroom. I genuinely prefer to spend a larger chunk of my time with various friends, communities, and organizations on a daily basis. This is only problematic because when there’s an exam for MIS “Killer K” 333K, I shift gears and suddenly I’m sacrificing a lot of sleep. Regardless, college has been much more fun and meaningful to me with this model, and I’ve managed to hit the books when I need to.  

DT: What steps do you take to take care of yourself while having little free time? 

EH: The best thing I can do for myself is to mentally be in a positive place throughout stressful times while fueling my brain and body with a lot of food. I don’t have any explicit steps, but as long as I break a problem down into bite-size chunks and take it step-by-step, it’s much more manageable. Browsing the right memes usually lays the pressure down a few notches. 

DT: How do you cope during finals week? What does finals week usually look like for you?

EH: Finals week is usually pretty bad because of all the projects that are also due on top of the exams. If I’m studying for an exam, I’m definitely situated in the NRG Productivity Center, a study facility for McCombs students. After I get myself a nice cubicle in NRG, everything else on my list of things to do becomes streamlined. Also, the chilled black coffee from the vending machines is an essential resource for finals week.  

DT: If you could give one piece of advice to students on how to thrive during finals week, or in college in general, what would it be?

EH: It’s really important that you are proactive about gauging your happiness and level of fulfillment. If you are genuinely not happy with something or disagree with the way something is run, lead the change you’re looking for and transform the norm. If you’ve tried your best, learn to let go of some commitments. That being said, if you’ve been able to manage a busy lifestyle with an array of responsibilities, keep doing you and don’t let go of the things you enjoy doing. Just be honest with yourself and make sure you aren’t wasting your own time.

Lastly, if you’re worried about not getting the right grade during finals, not landing the dream internship or getting rejected from something, don’t let it affect your confidence. It’s not a statement about your character. You can really lay the pressure down when you detach your self-worth from a grade, job title or acceptance.

Eugene Han is a Management Information Systems and Business Honors junior from Coppell.