This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

Women Living Well - Spring 2005
Student Papers
On Serendip

Achieving Balance

Jackie Chew

Achieving and maintaining balance as an undergraduate student is incredibly difficult. We have to juggle schoolwork, clubs, friends, volunteer work, part-time jobs, and so much more. I for one, enjoy being busy and having a lot of different things going on in my life. However, it is difficult to avoid "biting off more than you can chew." With only four years to experience college life, we all like to cram in as much as we can to get as much out of the experience as possible. The speakers in the Women Living Well series all gave very good suggestions for maintaining balance in order to have an enjoyable and healthy college experience.

In the first lecture, "Mindfulness, Reflecting, and Brooding: Links to Well-being and Distress," Marc Shultz, a Bryn Mawr professor of Psychology discussed methods of being "mindful," and also discussed the differences between reflecting and brooding. Marc discussed the ways in which brooding is unconstructive in that it is basically sulking and thinking only negatively about something. Reflection, on the other hand is healthy in that it can help to achieve balance. Reflection involves thinking about a possibly negative thing in a constructive manner. In reflection, it is okay to have negative thoughts, but it is important not to dwell on only the negative aspects. It is helpful to think of positive things that may have come from a negative. This helps us to achieve balance because we are able to evenly an rationally reflect on aspects of our lives and not allow ourselves to get sucked into the negatives. Marc also discussed mindfulness. Being mindful also contributes to balance in life because it is about being aware of oneself. In being mindful, we should recognize the emotions we have and things that we are experiencing, but not allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by them.

In the second lecture, "Don't let good get the better of best--making time for what's most important," Glenn Smith discussed self-management. He told us that we cannot manage time, but we can manage ourselves, and that we have many important choices to make in managing our schedules. Glenn discussed the fact that the choices we make will affect oru future, and thus we must make them carefully. We learned useful tools to be used to set priorities and to make sure that we could make time for what is most important to us as individuals. This lecture was extremely helpful in teaching us ways to achieve and maintain balanced lives. It showed us the importance in setting priorities so that we can accomplish what is important because it is not realistic to believe that we will be able to accomplish everything. This is critical in maintaining a balanced life because to achieve balance, we have to decide what is most important to us.
In the third lecture, "Eat Well Bryn Mawr," Mimi Murray discussed the importance of good nutrition. She taught us about the benefits of eating certain foods, and the importance of eating a balanced diet. This is very important to achieving balance in life because without good nutrition, we do not have the energy of mindset to accomplish what we would like.

In the fourth lecture, "Get FITT Bryn Mawr," Matt discussed the three components of fitness: Flexibility, Aerobics, and Weight-training. He also discussed Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type, or "FITT." In his talk, he mentioned that it is not necessary to devote an incredible amount of time to workout. He told us that a fifteen minute workout can be as effective as an hour-long workout. What is important is the intensity of the workout. This is very helpful in our attempts to achieve balance in life, because fitness is such an important element. Excercize helps us sleep well, gives us energy, and just generally keeps us healthier. Most think that we do not have enough time to workout, and therefore skip fitness altogether. Marc showed us that with even just a small amount of time, we can stay fit.

I greatly enjoyed the lectures in this series and found them all extremely helpful in achieving balance in my life. I will definitely carry these techniques with me for use after graduation.

| Women Living Well: Mind and Body | Center for Science In Society | Science and Culture | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994-2007 - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:18 CDT