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  • Mansirat Chahal

Balancing Academics and Passions: Don't Let University Define You

In the whirlwind of university life, it's easy for students to become consumed by their academic pursuits, often at the expense of their non-academic passions. However, it's crucial to recognize that university is not just about earning a degree; it's also about personal growth and discovering oneself. This includes nurturing interests outside the lecture hall, such as sports, arts, music, or any other hobby that brings joy and self-fulfillment.

Many students fall into the trap of believing that excelling academically is the sole path to success (guilty). While good grades are undoubtedly important, they are not the only determinant of one's future achievements or happiness. In fact, neglecting non-academic passions can lead to burnout, decreased motivation, and a lack of overall satisfaction with university life.

From a young age, I played soccer until just weeks before university started. To say soccer was my outlet is an understatement. If I wasn't at school or in my room doing homework, I was probably out on the fields with a ball at my feet. Apart from the feeling of accomplishment and the friendships I made during my time playing soccer, it taught me life-long skills such as time management, discipline, and resilience.

Unfortunately, I let university take this away from me. I was afraid I would not be able to balance school, work, and soccer, so I decided to quit. Quickly, I began to regret my decision. I realized soccer offered me a chance to step away when I felt overwhelmed with school, playing a crucial role in my well-being. This led me to integrate soccer back into my university routine. It was definitely a challenge at first, but the rewards far outweighed the initial struggle.

It's essential for students to strike a balance between their academic responsibilities and personal interests. Take this as a reminder that you shouldn't have to sacrifice your passions for academic success. Embrace the opportunity to pursue your interests alongside your academic journey. So, as you navigate the challenges and struggles of university life, don't forget to prioritize self-care to ensure that you're not just surviving but thriving. Remember, personal fulfillment is a key to a rewarding university experience.

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