As many of us may know, being a House President (HP) of any of the houses at StFX is a huge time commitment, and it almost seems like a mystery that our House Presidents can keep up with their job, school, and wellness. I decided to chat with Jilaine, HP of Burke, to figure out how she handles stress, stays healthy, and balances everything on her plate.

Name: Jilaine Marie Barton                                            Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta                                            Program: Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics          Favourite Food: Fruit Smoothie

How would you describe the House President experience? If you could choose one word, what would it be? 

“I would say it’s one of the best things on campus to do. A rewarding job. At times it’s obviously stressful, but it’s one of those things that's worth the stress. One word to describe it is unique - there is no other position on campus that will impact so many people directly, face-to-face." 

You're considered "Mom" to 57 first year students. What's that like?

"It's a lot, but it's so cool because they all have such different personalities and interests. It's nice to see who they actually are. Plus, it's amazing how we have such a huge variety compared to the other two houses in Bishops, who have roughly thirty each."

How do you keep yourself organized during busy times?

"Making lists and schedules. Having a planner filled with deadlines, but also working on stuff one by one."

Do you consider yourself a fit person?

Jilaine says she played many sports growing up, but she's not as active as she used to be, even though she tries her best. 

How do you incorporate healthy habits into your daily life?

Jilaine says she makes smoothies for breakfast and tries to make healthy choices at meal hall, restaurants, and her kitchen. She also tries to take time to do stairs over elevators and to be active during study breaks. 

Have you ever felt as if you were pushing yourself towards unhealthy behaviours?

"At times definitely, I sacrifice a lot of sleep because I have stuff that needs to be done ASAP."

Where do you go for support during stressful times?

Jilaine says that first she calls her parents, and then she goes to her friends to talk things through. Next, she goes to the gym to relieve stress and take a break.

What would you recommend to people who want to start changing their habits? 

"Start with something small, like going to the gym or choosing more vegetables and fruits. Try to find ways to use physical activities in breaks from studying, not just going for a nap or watching TV or playing video games." Jilaine also said that taking time for herself and her mental health is important to her.

How do you balance studying, a social life, and working out?

Jilaine likes to study while working out. She likes to remind herself that school and academics come before her social life, but she likes to study with her friends for social interaction.

What are some tips you would give to future House Presidents?

"Find Balance, remember you are a student before anything else and you can only do so much. Have fun with it, don't just be a house prez for nothing."

If Burke were a person, what kind of person would they be?

"Firey. Loud. Bright. Kind of like the underdog, a spirited and overall nice person."

Like most students balancing academics and extracurriculars, Jilaine is a busy person with some insight about how to manage a busy lifestyle that could be helpful to those of us still trying to figure it out. Despite her busy schedule, Jilaine manages to be awesome at her job as an HP, which is reflected in what her Vice President and the former HP of Burke have to say about her:

"The best way to describe Jilaine is organized chaos, there's always something going on and she seems to have control and know what to do in every single stressful situation.... I am so happy to work by her side this year as we take care of Burke." - Jacob Faubert (Vice President of Burke)

"When I heard the news she was going to be taking the reigns of the Brawler house I was delighted, and I both immense pride, even sometimes mild jealousy at what she and Jacob have gone above and beyond all expectations set in years prior." - Carl Miller (Former House President of Burke)