Go West this summer and get ahead.

What comes first?

Having people tell you to get your priorities straight is kind of frustrating, especially when your top priority isn’t taken seriously by others. For instance, if you choose to stay home and take care of your sick pet over going to work, people will think you’re crazy.

As college students, many of us have trouble figuring out exactly what part of our lives should take precedence. Of course we’re in school to learn, but what about our love lives and our jobs? Aren’t they important, too?

If you’re stuck trying to get your priorities in order, here are a few things to consider:

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School

Good grades in school help out a lot as far as academics are concerned.

Pros: Strong GPA; more opportunities to earn scholarships; completion of your degree program; lots of ropes to adorn yourself with during commencement; and if you’re part of the Honors College, you’ll get to print for a few pennies. Literally.

Cons: If you work, your performance on the job may not be up to par, either, whether it’s because you didn’t get enough sleep after studying or because your heart simply isn’t in it and you’d rather be in the library working on an essay. Depending on where you work and how much your boss cares, you could get fired or denied a raise or promotion. If you don’t make time for your significant other, you could end up losing your relationship, too.

Work

Wake Forest University

Not everyone is able to rely on their parents to support them while they are in school. Therefore, having a job or two may be a necessity.

Pros: Money! Financial independence is a beautiful thing. Bills will be paid, you’ll actually be able to go out with your friends and nothing gets your foot in the door of a better and higher paying job like experience does.

Cons: You run the risk of failing your classes. Long shifts leave no room for sleeping or studying, and even if you do get around to studying, you can’t really process the information without sleeping! The alternative would be to attend school part-time, but it would take you longer to graduate. Not to mention, your love life will suffer because you work a lot. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of relationships fail because one party was a workaholic.

Dating and Relationships

Every now and then, we do need that special someone who will stand in our corner no matter what.

Pros: You’ll h someone to confide in, someone who understands you, someone to hang with and someone who can take your mind off of life’s chaos.

Cons: The most devastating consequence of putting your relationship over everything else would be to lose the HOPE Scholarship. The most hurtful consequence of putting your relationship over everything else would be to lose money, or worse, your job.

At the end of the day, choosing your priorities is all about what matters most to you. It’s not about what “should” be important and choosing priorities shouldn’t be based off of what your friends think. You are in charge of your own life and you are aware of what you should take care of immediately and what can be put on hold.

So go handle your business.

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