LIFE AS A STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR: A BALANCING ACT
Being a university student at Copenhagen Business School while at the same time being an entrepreneur can at times feel difficult as well as it at other times can fill you up with the most energetic drive and passion. Behind Novaheim, we are a team of two young women. Both of us are full time master’s students besides working on establishing our business together. Since the beginning of the year where we started working on our startup, we have faced the challenge of balancing university, entrepreneurship, student jobs, workout, and social life. It has been overwhelming, it has been up and down, and it has been compromising and prioritizing. However, for every month that has gone by, we have become more experienced about how to master being a full time university student while starting a company.
Prioritization is key
Very early in the process, we learned – and more importantly, we admitted to ourselves – that we cannot be the best at everything. Every semester at university requires a lot of reading and assignments to hand in while a start-up comes with several deadlines for grants to apply, events to attend, and in our case, creative workshops to execute at asylum centers. When you face endless to-do lists and feel that you need the week to last another two days, you might need to stop up and approach the issue that you simply do not have time to do everything with perfection. This is what we did – we had to master the art of prioritizing what assignments and tasks we wanted to do very well and which ones we would allow ourselves to do less well in order to keep the stress at a manageable level that would allow us to enjoy the process.
Many university students have high expectations for themselves – this includes us at Novaheim. We have always, and will always, strive to do our best, but we have also come to the conclusion that it is necessary to adjust our expectations in order to feel satisfied about the goals we reach instead of focusing on the ones we do not reach. Entrepreneurship is very much about striving for your goals and keep believing in your idea, but we believe that a little sense of reality won’t hurt you as it will be hard to remain motivated if your self-expectations are setting you up for constant disappointment.
Related to this is also the ability to allow yourself to change plans without blaming yourself that your initial plan did not work out.
Drive and passion
With all this said, the real secret behind balancing university and life as an entrepreneurship is the drive and passion that come with being involved in both activities. We are so privileged that we have the opportunity to get the education we want while starting our dream company, which is for us what gives us the needed drive and passion to balance the two activities. When it gets tough at times, we have also learned that it is crucial to keep reminding each other and ourselves why we are doing what we are doing. In this respect, we are grateful to be a team of two with the opportunity to boost each other when needed.