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An EC can be taken out if it feels like a liability more than a passion, a CMU student says.

We had the opportunity of interviewing Peter Sauer '23, a student at Carnegie Mellon University, about: Balancing Life.

Carnegie Mellon is a highly ranked private university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania best known for its top computer science, engineering, and business programs. Read more on their website.

Peter is currently majoring in Computational Neuroscience and Statistics/Machine Learning. His goal is to develop data analysis tools to analyze cognitive function and apply that knowledge in the medical field. Peter is currently an EMT, teaches high school students about statistics and neuroscience through Project Ignite, and is a research assistant at CMU.

Key points Peter made during his interview:

  1. "You never know what life will throw at you."

  2. "If you’re pushing through extracurriculars that are meant to be fun, then it’s more of a liability and less of a fun activity."

Peter mentions that he had to quit the track team in college to focus more on other extracurriculars.

Q: Did you ever feel as if you had too many commitments? If so, did you choose to give any of them up or did you decide to keep pushing through?

A: For sure. Part of the reason why I had quit the track team in college was to focus on different extracurriculars. If you’re pushing through extracurriculars that are meant to be fun, then it’s more of a liability and less of a fun activity.

Q: Do you follow a strict schedule or are you flexible with your schedule and plans?

A: I am always flexible. You never know what life will throw at you.

Q: What is one thing you wish you knew while you were in high school?

A: Take APs over any other class or college courses in another college. It’ll not only save you money, but also help give you more flexibility in college to take whatever you want. Doing this will help you stress less as well, because APs provide a solid roadmap for what subjects you could potentially pursue even further.

Q: What were your priorities in high school and what made you choose them as your priorities?

A: My priorities in high school were less on grades and more on making sure that I was adequately learning the material. However, I probably should have focused more on my grades during my freshman and sophomore year. I am not really sure if I really had a lot of “priorities,” since I was just trying to have fun in high school.

Q: Life can get overwhelming every now and then while trying to balance work, extracurriculars, and social life. Have you ever felt like you had too much weight on your shoulders? How did you get the motivation you needed to keep going?

A: Certainly. Even now, I still get stressed and pressured over my work/life balance. I think that making sure you’re doing something to have fun and socialize is necessary and is under-appreciated. It’s important to have something to do for fun that does not affect academics or your resume.

While you’re here, connect with and learn more about Peter Sauer on his LinkedIn at

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