Responsibility in college

Cartoon by Gordon Johnson


Two weeks ago I acquired two fish from a friend. One was a large goldfish and the other was one of those algae eaters who sucks on the side of the bowl.

I found a nice-sized, sort of unconventional bowl for my two new friends at Target as well as some fish food.

Little did I know, you cannot put goldfish in plain tap water, and the goldfish was flushed down the toilet on his second night home.

My roommates suggested that we go to Meijer and buy a new goldfish and drops for the water so that it will live longer.

That night, I fell victim to peer pressure and purchased 10 fish from Meijer. Well, actually, I purchased 13 because the worker scooped more than he was supposed to.

I now am responsible for the lives of 14 fish that live in a bowl on my counter.

It is crazy to think how something as little as a fish can be time-consuming and hard to balance in the midst of other college responsibilities.

You have to feed the fish at least twice a day and we replace their water three times a week because 14 fish seem to cloud up a fish bowl very quickly.

I have to worry about my fish as well as when I am going to have time to lug my laundry hamper to the Dawghouse and do a few loads of laundry. I also have to make sure I have food so that I can eat three meals a day.

However, sometimes it doesn’t stop just at personal pampering and homework. Most college students also have to pay attention to things like financial aid updates and practicing a sport. Many also have jobs that they attend most every day.

I could not fathom working a high-demanding job as well as attending school, though it is the reality for most students.

I have an internship off campus with a non-profit, as I am a Young Life and WyldLife leader at Carmel High School and I write for the Collegian, though I feel as if the little responsibilities like homework and cleaning take up most of my time.

Some students work on campus at the Health and Recreation Complex, the financial aid office, the admissions office, call center, Starbucks, Scotty’s, Pita Pit or Metro Diner.

Shelby Miller, sophomore communication sciences and disorders major, works two jobs on campus and is able to set time aside for homework and friends.

“I work in the financial aid office and in admissions as an ambassador,” she said. “I do feel like I’m a little pressed for free time but I think it is worth working and making money. I still make time for my friends on certain nights and I always have time for homework.”

Working two jobs on campus could be stressful, but it allows people like Miller to get connections in different offices at Butler. She is able to give tours and meet new people every week.

Colin Daly, sophomore  business major, is able to distribute his time between being in a fraternity, working at Pita Pit, school work and his social life.

“Balancing my responsibilities comes down to time management,” he said. “Everyone has their own list of priorities in their head. To balance my time for work, homework, fraternity matters and friends, I set a planner that outlines a month at a time.”

Daly said he does this so he is not overwhelmed or surprised by upcoming dates.

He works on campus, whereas some students work off-campus at internships which help them learn to manage time.

John Hall, junior risk management major and football player, is able to keep time for his sport and an internship.

“The biggest thing, I feel like, is staying focused on being prepared,” he said. “Every Sunday I write out my time commitments like my classes, practices, weights and my internship. I go as far as prepping my meals for the week and make about 10-15 meals so I don’t have to worry about cooking throughout the week. Preparation takes away any unnecessary and additional stress.”

Student athletes learn to balance their time for sports, which are usually very demanding. Athletes must attend practices, workouts and games or matches.

Grace Bowling, sophomore strategic communications major, is also on the dance team.

“I love dancing, but it does take a lot out of your time for school work,” Bowling said. “We just traveled to New York for the Big East Tournament and to Milwaukee for the first two games in the NCAA tournament, and I feel like I had to make up a lot of work.”

It is a little intimidating when you think about all of the responsibilities that come with college, as well as saving time for friends and fun, but most students balance more than just school work.

College is about experiencing new things, learning your limits and preparing yourself for the future. I believe that the best way for students to prepare for life after college is to challenge themselves in time management and school work.

If you are hesitant to get a job or internship there are plenty of resources on campus, like your advisors and the staff of Internship and Career Services.

Student activities are all over campus and there are always opportunities to make friends, experience new clubs or groups and still have time to keep your goldfish alive.

Time management is key and a busy schedule is achievable by any college student.