Please disregard anything I’ve said up until now about school. Clearly, I have made a huge, no, monumental mistake or else I would not be in the predicament I am today. You see, I was little Miss 18 credits per semester and I was doing good. I’m on target to graduate cum laude (maybe better) and with two degrees. However, it’s my final semester or senior year and I’m only taking 14 credits. Should be a cake walk, right? Oh, very, very wrong.
I’ve known for a while that which your classes you are taking decides how packed your schedule is. But I’ve handled things pretty well up until now. I’ve had semesters with a seminar, a 6-credit internship, Advanced Research Methods, and Law and Cyberspace all at once. That sounds like it would be miserable, but it wasn’t too bad. Not like now. I have 2 gyms classes, my sociology seminar, independent research for sociology, and Writing for Business Management. It shouldn’t be scary but I’m really spread thin. I’m working on a midterm project, submitting my survey, two blogs, homework, and a department paper plus working two jobs. I might need to learn to say no. However, this is giving me a learning opportunity on time management.
The U.S. News and World Report tells you that you have to balance personal and academic time. That would be great. Please explain how I’m supposed to see my boyfriend, help plan my best friend’s wedding, deal with my other best friend’s constant neediness and birthday, and do my career/academic stuff. I obviously can’t neglect school or working when I’m about to graduate and have loans to pay off. The girls don’t really know what’s up nor do they care but the boyfriend is doing his best to help. It’s a little difficult since he isn’t at school with me anymore but we’re…working.
You are also supposed to keep your health in mind, according to this article. Oh, I am trying. I’ve scheduled 2 hours, 3 days a week to spend in the gym, but that doesn’t mean everyone else has the planned for me. On Tuesday, I will be leaving my elliptical to go conduct an interview for a freelance article and then return to the machine to finish before going home to have said boyfriend watch my write my article during our date time (I’m such a good girlfriend). I will admit that the gym really does keep my mind a little clearer but sometimes I wonder if I could better use that time to work. And as far as eating healthy, sometimes I’m lucky if I have time to eat. When you go from class to gym to bridal registry to movie, you don’t have time to stop let alone eat (Plus, everyone just assumes you did it at some other point, not that you are skipping things you need to benefit others).
I kind of wish my school would have been as prepared for this as Dartmouth is. They have an entire section of their website dedicated to helping students manage their time. Heck, they even have downloadable schedules. We’re lucky if the online calendar has when spring break is let alone anything to help us.
Their tips on time management I actually really like. My favorite is the one that says there’s always time for the important things because if it’s important you’ll make time. I’ve certainly found that out. I’ve got a lot of TV and reading to catch up on because I’ve been juggling work, school, and people. It even makes you have to make choices between shows and books. I would have thought more than just Vampire Diaries and Hart of Dixie are important to me but those are the only ones I’m still super dedicated to and in another situation, Gone with the Wind would have been done ages ago instead of me reading 50-100 pages a night. Thinking on paper is another good tip. I have to write down everything I need to do and feel a little bit of success when I check something off. It might not seem like much but when you have so much to do in so little time, you feel much better when at least one thing is done.
There is also a quiz on how good a planner you are. I took it and got above average planner but I would guess that a few more questions would have made me a burnout. It gives a pretty good perspective about yourself though. I realized that I do rarely allow time for unexpected things to pop up and that is a problem with me. I cause myself more stress because when things don’t go as planned or don’t stick to the time schedule I’ve set, I get really stressed. I usually end up crying and sometimes having an anxiety attack. I’d love to make more time for unexpected things but it’s not going to happen. I like structure and I don’t like surprises. I have control issues and schedules make me happy and less anxious. Deal with it, Dartmouth.
I watch all my friends who fit everything in seemingly effortlessly and I wonder how they do it. Then I realize that they don’t go to bed until much later than my 11 p.m. and they only work one job and only have one major and are not working on departmental honors papers. I guess the lesson I’ve learned from this semester already is that I need to learn to say no. I’ve basically given up commuter council because I can’t find time for it and an honor society I’m in (Not that I was super dedicated to either). It’s nice to see though that the way I prioritize gives me an idea of what I think is important. I always knew work and school would be at the top of my list, but I like seeing that helping my friends, spending time with my boyfriend, and hanging out with my parents is up there, too. I’m sure knowing me, they would all be a little surprised that I’m make time for people without realizing it…well, except the girls, who assume my world revolves around them sometimes but what can you do about your best friends since they are your best friends? I guess what they say is right you’ve got to pick 2 among sleep, social life, and school during college and I’m picking sleep and school (I’m not much of a partier anyways).