As I approach my 2nd year, I am further fragmenting my time between studying, extracurriculars, preparing for new leadership roles, organizing my research, and maintaining my personal life. At times I feel that it’s unrealistic for me to believe that I can do it all, and do it all well. I fear that I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

I called my mom for advice and she offered the following analogy:

Imagine a koi pond. The size of the pond represents the amount of time we have in a day, and the koi fish represent the responsibilities that we have. We can add or remove fish from the pond, but we cannot adjust the size of the pond. With less fish in the pond, the fish can enjoy their space and thrive. However, if there are too many fish within the limited space, then some fish will likely have their growth stunted or become sickly.

For now, I'm managing just fine. However, if there comes a time in the future when I feel that one or more fish are suffering due to lack of space in the pond, then I will have to decide which fish to remove in order to return the pond’s ecosystem to a healthy equilibrium.