By the SMU Social Media Team
Life in university can sometimes seem to be a full-time juggling act. Between endless classes, projects, internships and a mile-long list of readings, there’s barely enough time to sustain a semblance of a social life during the semester. Add a co-curricular activity (CCA) or two to the equation and everything goes out of whack.
It doesn’t have to be this way. And it definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enrich your student life with activities outside of the classroom. CCAs are part of the complete university experience, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to lead a fulfilling student life and forge lasting friendships, while developing soft skills such as leadership and interpersonal communications.
So, how can you find a balance between maintaining a stellar GPA score and participating in a CCA that you love? We spoke to a couple of student leaders to get tips on how to strike the perfect balance:
Join a CCA you love
A passion for dragon boat racing is what keeps Lim Zhi Yao, second-year Business student, and Men’s Captain of the SMU Dragonboat team, going. Said the competitive dragon boat racer who picked up the sport in his first year of studies, “Join a CCA that you truly love and not just because your peers are in it. If not, the CCA may not be what you enjoy and could end up becoming a chore. If it’s something you’re interested in or love doing, going for CCA sessions will be fun and can even be a respite from your busy school schedule!”
Clocking in up to six days of two-hour training sessions a week on top of school commitments, the President of SMU Aquathlon Jeremy Pek knows a thing or two about juggling his time. The third-year Accountancy student was also a sub-committee member of the SMU EYE Investment Club in his first year at SMU while being a member of Reef Alert, an overseas community service project group that focuses on marine conservation. His top tip? Prioritise and manage your time well. He advised, “If you want to train and study, you’ll just have to give up other less important things, like Facebook or watching drama series.”
Know your limitations
There’s always going to be so much to do but so little time. That’s why the president of ballroom dancing club SMU Ballare Natalie Ng advises new undergrads not to overload themselves with more than they can handle. Said the third-year double degree (marketing and psychology major) student and Lee Kong Chian Scholar who practises her dance moves an average of three to four times a week and plays the violin in her spare time, “It’s great to experience as much as you can while you’re still in school but it’s also not good to neglect any part of your life.”
Never leave revisions till the last minute
Keeping up with your studies can be especially challenging and taxing for those in physically demanding CCAs such as netball. An active netball player for the past 14 years, the President of SMU Netball and third-year Business undergrad Yap Yu Jun shared that she sometimes feels lethargic after competitions or training. However, that doesn’t stop her from consistently keeping up with her lessons and school work. Said Yu Jun, “Even if it may be the first few weeks of school, mid-terms will be up next, and before you know it, finals will be here. So, revise when you have the time.”
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