Time management wasn’t originally my forte. For those of you reading who are in high school and older, you may be familiar with the dreadful experience of procrastination. If you are younger, unless you are talented at using your time, you will fall into the procrastination trap at least once or twice as you move up in school. Before the pandemic, I drowned myself in homework and realized that I wasn’t leaving myself enough time for real things. But what does that have to do with allergies?
I had known that I wanted to prioritize food allergy advocacy for a long time since the very beginning of the pandemic. However, I was/am an IB student who wasn’t sure if I had time. At the beginning of the TAG year, I decided to join six food allergy awareness projects as well as the FARE Grassroots Advocacy Committee. By doing this, I surprised myself. I hadn’t committed to this many projects before, but were they really projects? Sure, by textbook definition, someone may define them as such, but to me, nothing is a project if I enjoy putting my time into it, and it doesn’t just feel like more work. And that’s exactly what allergy advocacy is to me. Lobbying for the FASTER Act in Congress, starting local policy scans, and making videos about having allergies became a passion for me, and through all this, I somehow found myself managing my time. Even with a heavy workload, I started to get my homework and studying done on weekdays so that I could “work” on TAG projects on the weekends, and I think that has been super effective.
My advice to anyone reading this is not to be afraid to pursue something you are passionate about, especially if it’s allergy-related! There’s a likely chance if you are looking at this article that you have allergies yourself, and if you feel as though there may be something like procrastination holding you back from allergy advocacy as it did me, I promise it will work out. Because the food allergy community is collective, not individualistic, by that, I mean everyone supports each other and knows what you’re going through. TAG and food allergy advocacy has taught me how to balance out my time to make sure I’m still getting the chance to do things that I love, and whether or not you realize it, these things may be having the same effect on you!