Daniels: Finding Balance Key to College Success

Published Thursday, December 13, 2018
Emily Daniels
Emily Daniels

 Busy SMSU students often find themselves with a full plate, and managing all the demands is a key to a successful college career.

Whether they are taking a major credit load, have multiple jobs, are in sports, or have other responsibilities, it is sometimes hard to find that balance needed during the academic year.

Emily Daniels, a junior Public Relations major, finds that she’s getting better at juggling it all, though it’s been difficult at times.

A native of East Bethel, Minn., Daniels ran cross country and track throughout her high school career. She carried that into her collegiate years and is now in sports year-round as she trains and practices for races, meets and more as a member of the cross country and track teams. She also carried a 15-credit load in the fall semester.

 “My favorite part about being on a team is bonding with different people who have the same love of the same sport as I do. It's fun to see where everyone comes from and different experiences they have had before coming to college. Traveling with the team is also fun and we make a lot of memories.”

And while she is a part of the sports community, cross country and track are not the only items on Daniels’ plate.

She is also a sports reporter for the Marshall Independent. For over a year, she’s traveled to numerous cities around southwest Minnesota to interview coaches and players, and takes photos of the games.

Along with balancing school, sports, and her job as a reporter, Daniels works in the SMSU McFarland Library and is currently an RA for Armstrong Hall.

 “I became an RA to be involved with campus more than just being on a sports team. Connecting with the campus in a different way is something that everyone should try,” she states.

Daniels is creative by nature, and finds being an RA enjoyable due to the creativity she can bring to the position. “Making bulletin boards, door decorations, publicity — it’s all so much fun. You get to show your unique, artistic side throughout the year.”

She handles her priorities gracefully. With her credit load, it’s hard to let other duties get in the way of school, but Daniels has found a balance that allows her to delegate her time and effort to each aspect of her life without draining herself.

“Balancing all the things I do isn't as tough as one may think. Once you figure out a routine it becomes very easy. The beginning of the year is always tough for me because I'm still figuring out classes, practice schedules and work but after a couple weeks I find my rhythm and it becomes more relaxing.”

Too many times students fall victim to getting caught up in their duties and responsibilities. It can seem overwhelming. Time management is a skill Daniels has mastered, and it’s imperative to her student success.

 “Some advice I would give to students who may be juggling many things and can't seem to figure it out is to start by getting a planner,” she said. “They save your life and writing down your schedule and knowing what’s to come helps a lot. Don't over-work yourself, it becomes very easy to do that but it's okay to say ‘no’ to something if you feel stressed,” Daniels says.      

Don’t try to do too much, said Daniels. Far too many times college students over-work, or even over-schedule themselves. Plan, plan, and plan some more.

To de-stress, Daniels says she watches movies and listens to Taylor Swift. “I find that taking time to myself every once in a while is something I need, and helps a lot,” she says.

Other hobbies include photography, drawing and writing. She also likes to travel and attend concerts. If she’s not on campus, she finds things to fill her schedule.

Daniels is like so many SMSU students. Planning and time management, she has found, are keys to a successful academic year.