The phrase “having it all” means different things for different people. From the article in The Atlantic about how women can’t have it all anymore, to my personal favorite article on The Hoopla called “WTF is Having It All Anyway?” everyone is weighing in on this 3rd wave feminist topic. Now that women have been given the ability to do even more with their lives than previously in history, do they really need to be doing all of those things? Can they have those things? I think that the most important thing to do is to keep the conversation going. I talked with friends who managed to balance their school, work and personal lives successfully, even though it was at times tough. My friends are Amanda A., Amanda R., and Therese G.. I learned a lot about them (even though I already know a lot about them haha) through this interview I did for iwooloo.
a little background info: Amanda A. is an Accounting and Accounting information Systems major at Central Michigan University and took 16-18 credits per semester all while working at a Credit Union. Therese’s major is in Communications with an interdisciplinary minor in Public Relations at Michigan State University. She worked as an intern doing PR for the residential halls on campus. She also worked at Kirabo, a fair trade store, as a cashier and running the store’s social media sites. Amanda R.’s major is Early childhood education and she’s averaging about 16 credits or about 5 classes per semester. She worked at the college bookstore and two different libraries, and Kohls.. She didn’t work at all of those places all at once but she had at least two jobs at any given time.
So what keeps you organized when things get crazy?
Amanda A.: Alarms on my phone and post it notes *everywhere*
Therese: My iPhone and a planner. Mostly my own head though, because it’s hard to organize 100% of the time when I get really busy.
Amanda R.: I have no idea, I’m the least organized person ever. But my Vera Bradley planner and post it notes are like crack for me.
The biggest thing that happens to people when they are trying to cover everything is that they procrastinate and/or lose sleep. How did you do in those areas?
Amanda A.: Sleep is very important to me and I function best with about 7.5 hours per night and stuck with that throughout the week. It would vary on weekends though. I try not to procrastinate because I did that a lot in my freshman year and my grades suffered for it.
Therese: I love my sleep! I always made sure to get about 7 hours a night. I never had an all-nighter which I am very proud of. Unfortunately I tend to procrastinate because it’s always worked out fine for me, I always get things done.
Amanda R.: I procrastinated daily, more and more often the more experienced I became with putting everything off til the last possible second. And I lost more hours of sleep than I can count, but I never actually pulled a legit all nighter.
What keeps you motivated when things get hectic?
Amanda: I’ve always used gaming or hanging out with friends as motivation… like, if I finish this assignment, I can play Skyrim for two hours. Something like that. Or, if I study for this test tonight, I won’t have to when I get home from work so I can do something fun. Me: I can definitely relate, I’m always putting off something that I want to do for something I feel I *should* do.
Therese: Once I commit to something I commit to it 100%. The fact that I have said that I want to take on a particular project gives me motivation- I want to honor my word. It’s hard because sometimes I stick with things even though they are not making me the happiest, but it’s just my personality.
Me: Well I really admire that, because sometimes I have a hard time sticking things out.
Therese: Well between you and me we’re the perfect balance then!
Amanda R.: My friends keep me grounded when I get stressed and so does chocolate.
What projects/activities consume the most time?
Amanda: When I was doing music at KCC (community college) , it was the performances, especially my recital. Not only do you have classes and work, but you have rehearsals outside of work too. I did choir at CMU too
Therese: At times it felt like everything was too time consuming because I didn’t prioritize one thing over another- everything was important. But if I had to choose I would say school and APO (volunteer fraternity) were tied.
Amanda R.: I think work takes up most of my time and writing massive lesson plans take more time than I care to admit.
Do you enjoy being really busy or is it something that just happens?
Amanda: Yes and no. I definitely don’t like having a lot of downtime, but at the same time when you’re busy for work and school and lot of the time you don’t get the option of choosing what you’re busy *with*. But I would generally say yes, I would rather be busier than not.
Therese: I think I like to say I don’t like being busy, but honestly if I’m not busy for too long I don’t know what to do with myself.
Overall I think that the goal of” having-it-all”success is really difficult for women in their 20s and 30s because it involves so much pressure and multitasking. But I think that if you want it all as a young adult woman then you should be able to have it all! I am woman hear me roar and all that. Keep in mind that having it all for some people may mean a roof over their heads and food for their children. Or the ability to stay at home and take care of the ones they love, be they aging parents or young ones. Our (my friends’ and I) stories of having it all are just one of many women’s stories out there. The more we talk about it, the more that there will be an impact of some kind, whether it’s through better legislation for student loan debt or the improvement of policies for maternity leave.