“I’m amazed at how you find 27 hours in a 24 hour day.” This is what my grandmother said to me the other day on the phone as I began to describe at great length my down-to-the-minute schedule for the weekend. Honors students often have the tendency to want to do everything they possibly can because well, why not?
This is all fine until you burn yourself out and find yourself at home trying to piece your life back together. “Wow a little dramatic,” you may be thinking, but this is something I experienced at the beginning of this semester and you probably will to some extent during your college experience. Now that we are solidly into the semester and the first round of exams has just passed, I put together some tips to help you power through the rest of the spring and into a relaxing summer.
- Make a Plan. I have a color-coded planner that uses about six different colors that represent various categories of commitments. This goes along with my hourly plan that I have typed up on my laptop. I may be a bit on the extreme side of planning, but I would say as long as you have a mental plan of what you need to do for the day or week, you’ll be off to a good start.
- Change your Plan. “Hold on a second, didn’t you just tell us to go to Staples buy a bunch of colorful pens and map everything out?” Yes, but no. If you try to only stick to your plan you’ll make yourself and everyone around you crazy. Things change and you have to be able to adapt. This is definitely something I learned the hard way, but I still try to remind myself of this daily.
- Prioritize. This goes directly with the idea of balance. Most of us are here because we want to succeed in whatever field we’re studying. That being said, schoolwork should probably be at the top of our list. Beyond that, I prioritize my clubs, and then if I ever have a day where something happens and my plan tells me I’m a hour behind, I can just look to the bottom of my prioritizing and maybe skip that meeting that week.
- Reflect. Take time to reflect on everything you’re participating in and make sure it’s really what you want to be doing. By taking five minutes out of your day to check-in with yourself you can figure out if all of the clubs you’re in are really relevant and if they’re not, go back to #2 and change your plan.
These four tips are really basic, but always a good reminder, especially during this hectic time of year. It’s okay if you can find 27 hours in a 24 hour day, but make sure you’re getting the most out of each and every hour while being happy and healthy along the way.
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