Exhaustion! Or, How to Survive an Overscheduled Life
Those of us at CWRU who are members of Greek Life are either just coming out of or still deep in the throes of recruitment season. What this means for most people (including me) is a whole lot of things to do outside of class, maintaining a cheery and friendly disposition around campus (in spite of homework, gross weather, or general lack of caffeine), and the bone-deep tiredness that comes with a day of meeting 20 to 30 girls or a week of meeting and getting to know the best guys.
What it means for me, in addition, is a whole lot of thought about time management. It's a skill that I didn't have a whole lot of upon coming to college, since most of it was done for me. I had to be certain places at certain times and homework was one of those things that just had to be done. Rarely was I considering the daunting task of event planning or weighing the pros and cons of missing a day of school to catch up on work. High school doesn't exactly work that way.
College is a weird beast, because it might work that way, depending on who you are. If you're like most Case students I know, you'll have more on your plate than you had ever anticipated by the time spring semester of your freshman year rolls around. And sophomore year? You can't even imagine.
So time management becomes crucial. For the sake of managing my time (and yours), here's a quick list of my best tips for time management when you've got too much work and play and general madness to shake a stick at.
1. You are a student first. Repeat this mantra to yourself daily. No matter how much you want to take on three officer positions AND sit on four exec boards AND play IM sports AND write for the Observer AND become a prolific Humans Vs Zombies player, you are still here for school. Remember that every time you tell someone (including yourself) that yes, of course you can take on three new projects. Maybe you can, but if your school work suffers for it, it's time to step back. Which leads me into my next point...
2. Don't be afraid to say no. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. You can't do everything, as much as you'd like to. It is okay to say no to people occasionally when they ask you to do things. Don't get yourself in over your head.
3. Prioritize. Know what's important to you, and stick to it. If you let small things sidetrack you, it can get in the way of bigger goals and dreams.
4. Plan. If you don't know how to time manage, the best way to start is to sit down and plan what you will do at what time. Even if you don't finish exactly according to your schedule, having a goal for projects will motivate you to complete them, and give you a better idea of how much time it takes to do the things you need to do.
5. Make time for you, your friends, your family, etc. As counterintuitive as this may sound, you need time off. You need to be able to blow off some steam by doing low-pressure things like hanging out with friends, watching a movie, or doing something for the fun of it (reading, I'm lookin' at you). If every single minute of every single day is spent working and pushing and striving, you will get burnt out. Seriously.
Note: It's important that this step be guilt-free. It won't help if your time off is spent worrying about the fact that you're taking time off.
Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to spend some time with a good book, some cocoa, and my cozy bed. 100% Stress Free.