Jonathan Cerna

Jonathan Cerna learns how/what to prioritize 

From research labs to an assortment of clubs and organizations and now a Rosenfeld internship, Jonathan has been heavily involved in many areas throughout his time so far at Iowa State University.

Jonathan’s list of personal interests is diverse and long: reading research articles, listening to podcasts, powerlifting, biking, yoga, kayaking, dancing, playing bass and guitar, etc. 

“I used to be involved in a lot more at the beginning,” said Jonathan. “I realized what I could handle, and I had to stop doing the rest.”

To find the time to participate in all of his hobbies, Jonathan needed to prioritize what matters to him most. The first part of figuring out how to prioritize in college is identifying what Jonathan calls your daily non-negotiables.

“Figuring out that you can’t just sleep and eat poorly and still expect to perform at your best is something that tends to fly over people’s heads in desperate times,” he said.

Jonathan hasn’t always been great at prioritizing his commitments, however. Starting off college, he was just as stressed trying to find time for those daily non-negotiables as most are.

“I incorporated one thing, then another, then another,” said Jonathan. “You can only slowly add more and more as you find the time to do it.”

There’s nothing wrong with starting off with one or two involvements. Everyone’s amount of commitments they can handle varies. Jonathan has some advice for students struggling with finding time for their daily non-negotiables.

“In order to know what you need to prioritize you have to be aware during your day what actually helps you,” said Jonathan. “Be aware of what is important first, and then build from there.”