Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Role Conflicts

Role Conflict - When compliance with one role requirement may make it difficult to comply with another, the result is role conflict. At the extreme, two or more role expectations are mutually contradictory.

College. Primarily to achieve higher education, but more often used to "expand as a person" (as well as sometimes expand one's mind on um... experimental substances). In 2010, students go to college not just to learn, but also to meet new people, experience new parts of the country, develop a drinking habit and simply get away from their parents and hometown. But while students are losing their parents and "lame" hometown stigmas, are they also losing themselves? College is confusing; balancing your inner self with shallow surface-obsessed Greeks (sorry to stereotype.. another concept we talked about... but it's unfortunately one that's rather true at UK) is difficult; at the end of the day, the person we see in the mirror isn't the person we've known for two decades. While we want to be good girlfriends and boyfriends to the person we left back home, we also want to meet new people of the opposite sex (perhaps not for romantic relationships, but for the sake of meeting new people) and an inner conflict arises. Also, while we want to be good friends and go out on Monday nights because it's a friend's birthday, we also want to get an "A" on that exam that comes at 9am the next morning. Maybe we were soccer stars in high school and maintained physical fitness simply because of all the practices and games, but we're not playing collegiate sports so we gain the "freshmen 15"; how do we maintain our fit selves with a pizza-eating beer-drinking self? Just thinking of all of these double-lives can make a person have a panic attack. Role conflicts... meet balance, your new best friend. It's imperative that we strive for harmony in our college lives, or the scale is going to tip too far in one direction and your world will come crumbling down (and by crumbling down I mean, put on academic probation, go up a dress size, break-up with your partner). While it's absolutely vital to experience "college" and meet those new people, order pizza at 2 am and form new relationships, it's also just as important to limit oneself. While you meet new people, don't forget your established relationships. While once in awhile it's okay to stay up late and pig out with your friends, don't make it a weekly thing. Don't compromise things like your health, your family and your older friends just because your in a new environment; your health, family and friends is what got you to college, and it's what will keep you there. 


  1. I like how you related role conflicts to our everyday life not just in the workplace. It is true that sometimes we get conflicting ideas about ourselves when there is so much expected of us. We get pulled in different directions which gets us confused on who we are and what our priorities are.

  2. I totally agree with what you have said...I love how you write! I am totally dealing with the right now. How do I be a graduate student, extension assoicate, event planner, basic college student, a daughter, farmer, sister, and a lover! How do I balance all of these roles...I find it very hard to do all these things at once...and be good at all of them. This time around I want to enjoy my college life and make the most of it!

  3. Awesome blog. And I totally can relate to it. Balancing out all your role conflicts is probably one of the biggest lessons that students can (and should!) gain from college. Especially as a graduate student, I am finding it so much harder to adequately balance my assistantship (that gets more and more demanding each day) with my classes (that I am finding out are much different that undergraduate classes). And then I still want to be a good friend, sister, daughter and girlfriend. With all my different titles, I'm definitely learning how to balance all the different Kelli's, slowly but surely :)