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Features Relays Edition

Are you becoming too “Drake busy” for your relationships?

Photo by Courtney Jackson | Features Editor

On a campus where Drake Busy is the norm, it’s hard to balance meaningful relationships and friendships with academics and extracurriculars. However, some students have found a way to have the best of both worlds.

“I’ve realized that it’s most important to invest in people rather than all those things because the people matter,” sophomore Ben Connolly said. “The connections that you have matter so deeply.”

Connolly is the definition of Drake Busy: academic senator, Drake Choir and Brocal Chords member and formerly a resident assistant – but he had to make some tough choices when his friends stepped in.

“It’s definitely a frightening thing when other people start to notice when you’re struggling before you even realize it,” Connolly said.

Connolly said the people he leans on are those that help him prioritize himself.

“I found a lot of value in taking care of myself, and the people around me pushed me to make more of an investment in myself,” he said.

Self-care is a cornerstone of how Connolly takes care of his physical and mental health. His prime example was making time to practice singing, something which he loves.

“That time is so crucial because I’m able to build up and rejuvenate the energy that I’ve kind of depleted,” he said.

First-year pharmacy student Alex Frank agreed that self-care and scheduling in time for himself is the key to his success.

“The advice of making every moment count is something that I have been trying to apply,” Frank said.

Besides being a pharmacy student, Frank is a resident assistant in the first-year experience and serves on the Resident Hall Association executive board and as the president of his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. He said time management is important.

“I plan my life around my calendar,” Frank said.

Frank finds open communication about his schedule allows him to maintain his connections to others. He and his girlfriend can see each other’s calendars, which makes it easier to understand when someone has to say no.

“I have to be intentional with planning out dates and hangouts with my girlfriend,” he said.

However, Frank has come to appreciate the little moments between the big things that serve as time he has to spend with those he cares about.

“Simply finding little things that [I] can do in the down time of events or classes helps take the tedious work out of my study time,” Frank said.

Connolly said it’s been a journey to where he is now. He gave credit to the Drake Counseling Center for helping him learn to balance and prioritize.

“They’ve been super beneficial in just showing me that I am worthy of giving back all that time to myself and to other people,” Connolly said. “The people around you are there to build you up.”

Frank pointed out that sometimes hard decisions have to be made, but it’s okay to not do everything.

“Being able to say no when people come at you with extra work, extra time commitments is a good skill that I wish I had developed a lot sooner,” Frank said.

Connolly stressed that being intentional about where and how he dedicated his time also helped him love everything he does.

“You can make a name for yourself, but the titles that you have don’t define you,” Connolly said.

So for those students looking to have their cake and eat it too: organize, prioritize and take it one day at a time.


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