By: Lynnette Sauer
This is my third year of college. Over the past two and half years, I’ve figured some things out – for example: learning what things are necessary to being a successful business student, and what things that are necessary to being a successful art student. One thing I still haven’t figured out is how to best balance the two. I don’t know how to be a good ‘business and art student’, and it’s frustrating! I’d guess that it’s something I won’t fully have figured out until the time I graduate.
I don’t think this problem is unique to me; it’s more of an existential question than merely the give and take between two degree programs. Everyone is busy; everyone’s life could be broken down into the different ‘roles’ they take on throughout a given week. (In business, a lot of people talk about “work-life balance” – same thing.)
For a lot of my life, I’ve struggled with feeling fragmented – trying to balance different parts of life, and the parts of my identity that are found in each of them. Over the past year, I’ve learned that in order to find internal unity (to have the different ‘parts’ of myself be at peace, rather than in conflict), it’s important to find an overarching unifying element to hold on to.
If you’re feeling fragmented, I’d encourage you to think about the ‘big picture’ characteristic/role/etc. that gives meaning to the other parts of your life. I’m not an expert by any means, but this is one of the most important things I’ve learned recently; and perhaps this kind of shift in thinking could be helpful to you the way it has been to me. Personally, I’ve found this ‘unifying element’ in my faith and the way it informs the rest of my life. Rather than diminish from the different things I do, this perspective is freeing in that it allows me to be ‘one person’ who does many things, rather than having to be the many different things I do. It’s helped me to relieve some of the pressure I’d placed on myself and to hopefully live a little more authentically as I move among the overlapping spheres that make up my life.