Five o’clock is a great time of day, but probably not for the reason you might be thinking about. Five o’clock is the time that I get off work (most days), which means that I get to go home. Everyday I come in early to work, do my responsibilities, and then leave to go home. You know which part is my favorite? You guessed right: lunch. Because food. Also, the time I get to go home. Again because food. When I go home I get to do the stuff that I want to do like read, watch movies, write, hang with friends, etc. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my job legitimately. I work with some amazing people, have a great boss, and the work itself is actually fun. However, it is not my dream job, nor is it the job I thought I would have at this point in my life. So, when I go home I get to do the stuff I love. I’m sure everyone at some point has done a job that isn’t their dream job. While these jobs are important, and I plan to talk more about this in the future, they take up mass amounts of time that I wish I could use. I have to be at my job for at least nine hours (one hour is for lunch so not all is lost), and that takes away from the time I wish I could spend getting my law school application ready. There’s a lot of things I could do during the time I’m at work, but since work pays for all my bills (like my law school application) I have to learn solid time management skills.
For me, five o’clock often means I am just beginning my day. For instance for a period of time I had to study for LSAT, which is the entrance exam for law school. A lot of studying goes into preparing for the LSAT, and at work I couldn’t study because I have other responsibilities. So, my studying was done at night and on the weekends. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to turn down a lot of fun opportunities to hang out with friends. Luckily that is all over now, but the time management is still important. It bleeds into everything.
Since I do have a grown up job now, I don’t get the luxury of staying up super late anymore playing video games with my buddies. I can’t do midnight slurpee runs like I use to. I have to wake early to be at work on time, and unless I want to be a zombie at work then I have to get the right amount of sleep. This has been pretty tough for me to learn since I graduated college. I don’t know what happened since then, because I was able to stay up to 3am and still make my 8:30am class on time. But, you know in college I didn’t have to commute (even if it is only fifteen minutes), I didn’t have to dress in business attire, I didn’t have to worry about bringing lunch. I can’t just roll out of bed and barely make it to class. I have to be presentable and functional, so that means I go to bed early, which in turn means I have less time to do stuff.
In between the time I get off work and I go to sleep I get to do the stuff I want. But, during this time I also have to take care of some other responsibilities like working out (being healthy is a responsiblity), cooking dinner, and cleaning. Now I have even less time for the tv shows I like to watch (which is a lot), hanging with my friends, reading books, writing, etc. Why didn’t anyone tell me that graduating college didn’t mean more freedom? I thought now that I was done with school I could concentrate on doing the things Justin wanted to do. Instead it’s become filling my time things I HAVE to do.
Now I know some of my friends reading this will think “Bro, you watch a lot of tv,” “You hang out with people,” “You play Xbox enough.” They would be right, and I would say “My time managing skills haven’t been balanced.” I have to be able to put equal time in work and fun. In my life work takes up a lot of time, so when I get time to binge watch “Friday Night Lights” then I’m going to take that opportunity. However, this is not always the right thing to do. I should use some of that time to write more or work out more. Being an adult means being able to find time for fun and work. If we are lucky we get to do both, but often they don’t always mix.
As an emerging adult I find it hard to balance work and fun; especially when I feel like the fun is more important than the work. I think that at the times we have to go through seasons where fun is in limited supply, but that doesn’t mean we can’t savor the fun we have. Work pays the bills and allows fun to happen, so really they compliment each other. Balance is good, and managing the time put into both allows for a more healthy life.
“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
See even Oliver agrees that playing is good for you.