The Key to Balancing School and Community Commitments

Amanda Kuang - Calgary_webAmanda Kuang is a Youth Volunteer with YVC of Calgary and a member of our International Youth Advisory Board.

At times, life can get overwhelming, especially with commitments to school, sports, music and the community. These instances triggered me to think about maintaining balance from an outside perspective, and have taught me that the key to balancing multiple commitments is to understand your true intentions. Please allow me elaborate.

In order to balance multiple commitments, you must be able to earnestly define your objectives with your values and principle. Examining the true intentions of your actions must be done honestly and sincerely, and may even result in a nasty self-exposing process. For instance, some people volunteer to gain hours so that they may add an extra point to their resume, while others volunteer out of pure desire to reciprocate back into the community. No intentions are inferior. A greedy person who is faithful to the principle of greed can find their work just as enjoyable as a charitable person working to alleviate other people’s suffering. However, they both operate under the same principle, which is that they’ve aligned their values with their objectives, and are spontaneously dedicated as a result. This idea shows that it is vital for your intentions be true to yourself because it will ultimately bring you much more satisfaction and happiness.

When you truly love something, you will make time for it, even if it is difficult to do. For me, I find that when I wholeheartedly enjoy my commitments, I do not feel commanded to them. Instead, the commitments become enjoyable tasks. As a result, motivation to balance these with other commitments naturally occur. Thus, whatever it is, you should try to find a reason to feel passionate towards it, whether it is school or extracurricular activities, because at the end of the day, it is really about doing what you love that matters.

Calgary - Summer 2015 - 6

Here is some additional advice from your friends in Canada:

“Know what your limits are. You have to realize that your personal life is just as important as your desire to help others.”

Betty, 17, Toronto, ON

“Although trying new things may sound daunting, don’t be nervous. I encourage everyone to get involved in the community. You’d be surprised by what you can learn from volunteering and what you can gain in terms of developing yourself as a person and preparing yourself for the future.”

Brian, 16, Vancouver, BC

“Do not procrastinate. You should try out every different kind of volunteer work and learn what you enjoy doing. The first time may not be what you expect it to be, but you never know until you try. Maybe you’ll end up doing something you like for the rest of your life.”

Christy, 17, Calgary AB

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