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A question I’m frequently asked about applying to be a Nova ambassador is, “How do you balance it with school, work and extracurricular activities?”
My answer is always, “Time management.” Those are the two words we hear throughout our educational careers, in hopes that someday we’ll stop procrastinating and finish our assignments.
I will say that being an ambassador won’t teach you to stop procrastinating, but it will teach you how to manage time better. While trying to better figure out this balance, there are three things that you will learn to do better: Utilizing your planner/calendar if you don’t already, communicating in a business setting, and saying no to new responsibilities if you’re going to end up stretching yourself too thin.
Utilizing Your Calendar or Planner
At the beginning of each semester, a bunch of events/opportunities are made available for you to sign up for, and more are added as the semester goes on. Even though it’s tempting to not sign up within hours of the event during the first few weeks of the semester, that is actually the best time to work events, because you aren’t bogged down by coursework. Personally, I use both my phone calendar and planner when I sign up for events. I use my planner because I can schedule my ambassador events around my in- and out-of-school responsibilities. I also use my phone calendar so I can have an alert pop up to remind me the day before and the day of the event because it is possible to still forget.
Communicating in a Business Setting
The former point ties in a lot to this one. Despite all the organization, something will come up either on the administrative or student side. Email, texting and Groupme chats help make life run so much smoother. By texting the advisor in charge of your event, you’re able to let him or her know if you cannot make it because something urgent came up. This way is significantly better than just not showing up and explaining later. By emailing back that you can/cannot attend an event where extra hands are needed will make life so much easier for administration. Because we cannot talk face to face all the time, these small modes of communication that we aren’t necessarily accustomed to make working with the Nova ambassador group run smoother.
For me personally, this has been what I have needed to work on the most. I love being busy all the time, but sometimes you simply cannot sign up for everything or be a leader in every club because we have to remember what we are here for, and that is to learn. It’s OK to say no when asked to take up a bigger role, whether it’s lessening your responsibilities elsewhere or just explaining that you simply do not have the room in your schedule. Learning to say no will save you the trouble in the end of being way too overburdened and letting something inevitably slip through the cracks.
Overall, balancing life and Nova is not difficult, but it requires a little adjusting that will help you in the long run. Being able to balance student life as a double major in biology and business administration on top of work has been a transition, but it's manageable and well worth it. Apply to become a Nova Ambassador! Remember, applications are due March 10.