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"Know yourself, and you will know your future."| A Duke Student's Advice on Balancing Life

We had the privilege of interviewing Catherine McMillan,

  • a student at Duke University

  • a former student at the North Carolina Governor's School

  • her documentaries were featured in a screening at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

We asked for advice on: Balancing Life

Here are some notable words she shares:

  • Choose the few things you are truly passionate about, dive deep, and participate fully.

  • We are more than numbers.

Q: How did you schedule your time to complete and do well in everything in high school?

A: Sometimes I wonder how I got out of high school in one piece. I had horrible time management skills and often flaked on my work until 9PM. I got it done, of course, but often at the expense of my sleep cycle. I think what kept me going was a prevailing sense of needing to perform well, so through sheer willpower, I was able to muscle through my procrastination tendencies and take care of business.

Q: If you realized you had given yourself too many commitments, how did you determine what to give up?

A: Rank your activities. Prioritize the ones that you list first. Then cut the fat. Do you really need to be in 4 honors societies? Do you really want to be in three separate service clubs? Choose the few things you are truly passionate about, dive deep, and participate fully.

Q: What is one inevitable obstacle we will all have to face in our high school career?

A: Developing a clearer sense of self and purpose when we’ve been conditioned to ascribe self-value based on achievements and test scores. We are more than numbers.

Q: What are some regrets that you have about your high school career?

A: Not giving myself time to breathe, relax, and have fun.

See Catherine's LinkedIn account here!

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