Balancing Act: Luke Dougherty '18 Talks Balancing Academics with Student Life

Luke Dougherty, a senior music and digital communications major at Lebanon Valley College

The average college student takes about 15 to 18 credits a semester and even that can be a lot to handle; however, that is not the case for one LVC senior.

Luke Dougherty '18, a senior music and digital communications major, balances anywhere between 27 and 30 credits a semester on top of being active in the marching band, Treble at the Valley and continuing to run the Video Game Club that he founded his freshman year at Lebanon Valley College.

There are many reasons to take this amount of credits; for Dougherty, the reason is simple.

“The real reason is just because I love learning, and if there is a class that I am really interested in and can see myself using in my future, then I am going to apply that to myself because college is the chance to learn,” Dougherty said. “One of my mottos is to make your weaknesses strengths, and your strengths stronger.”

Although Dougherty is a senior at LVC and has experience handling stress, he's still not immune to it. For Dougherty, finding a balance between social time and academic time is important.

“I do get stressed out,” Dougherty said. “I’m not going to say that I don’t. I focus a lot on the bigger picture of things in life, so when I have a bunch of projects and club activities on top of socializing, I focus on the end goal. If I think of the final product, and realize that the moment to moment stress will go away. Spending time with friends definitely helps. One things that has really helped since I’ve come to college is to place socializing first, and work later.”

This fall, Dougherty will travel to Japan to study abroad. This trip is not sponsored by Lebanon Valley College. Rather, the experience is something Dougherty decided to do on his own during his freshman year.

“I will be studying at the Shinjuku Language Institute in Tokyo, Japan and staying with a host family,” Dougherty said. “There I will be studying the Japanese language in an intensive course everyday for three months. I am going to try and spend the rest of my time trying to compose as much as possible.”

Until he leaves for Japan, Dougherty is remaining as active on campus as possible. He is not taking any credits this semester, but is involved in the Video Game Club, Treble at the Valley, and is even taking vocal, guitar, and drum lessons.

Dougherty does not have an idea as to what he would like to do after graduation. He hopes that with his background and experience in a variety of different fields, he'll be successful in the workforce.

 

-Veronica Pettyjohn for La Vie