For me, this summer has placed me in an unforgiving position of starting from scratch. Since Seattle, I have nested in my temporary home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For 11 weeks, I'm testing to see what life holds for me in the Midwest. And I have to say, it’s not bad.
But I can write a lot more about this city later…
The perfect work-life balance. A concept many graduates, or soon-to-be-graduates, strive to find. Personally, I was quite afraid of it. I was scared that my job would eat up my day leaving me going home tired and unproductive. And before I know it, I'm 40, and all I remember is going to work. Maybe that is okay for some people, but that definitely doesn't sound thrilling to me.
The definition is pretty subjective, but from personal experience, it takes time to find. When you start working a full time job, you find yourself having no time. You are constantly scheduling your dinner, workouts, socials, and bedtime in your mind, and soon, it starts becoming a routine.
My biggest struggle was finding that social and personal life balance. As someone who thrives in one-on-one interactions, being in an intern class of 30 was daunting to me. Yet, I felt the need to befriend everyone, thinking that there was only a small window of opportunity to do so. For the first two weeks, I focused on networking, socializing, and trying to fit in a group; to the point where I felt quite frankly, inauthentic. For me, I was conflicted between showing up to intern cohesions, or taking a nap at home. This type of stress created a deteriorating mentality for the first few weeks. I soon realized that nothing works if I forced things to happen
The one thing that broke this mentality was re-engaging in what I love doing. I motivated myself to work on things I enjoy such as photoshoots, visiting local shops (currently writing this at a Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea), taking yoga classes, and exploring. I've been managing my time more effectively once I worked in activities that recharged me.
I can't say that I've found the perfect work-life balance yet, but I have learned that what makes a great lifestyle is creating time for things you love. For me I like exploring and doing fun photoshoots
My challenge for you this summer: take one afternoon a week for yourself and do something new with your surroundings, whether it's going to a new fitness class or picking up a new book to read. Add something new/different each week to change these up and you'll soon realize that work-life balance isn't a boring routine, but a new lifestyle.