I am still coming down from the summer of my dreams. After having the opportunity to travel to Southern California as well as Europe through the NIU Study Abroad Office, the world seemed like a magnificent place; free of stress and worry. This past few weeks of school quickly reminded me that life is just not that simple. A total of five courses, two internships, and three organizations leaves me little time for rest and relaxation without some task on my mind. If I’m not reading a book, I’m doing an assignment, and even when the homework is done the emails for organizations flow like a raging river.
I would be lying to you all if I told you that I wasn’t a little bit stressed. Getting shoved into the deep end of a pool almost always causes a brief moment of panic, regardless of how good you are at swimming. After a few moments of being in the water, you can orient yourself and adjust to the new environment. Before you know it, you’re splashing around in the pool and enjoying yourself; smiling like a possum eating graham crackers.
What I mean in the above analogy is just give it time! If you are stressed like I am, do not worry. Although we just got pushed into the deep end of a freezing pool we will soon find our way and fall into routines that make us successful. Keep with it and soon you’ll find time to manage the responsibilities of your courses, work, organizations, and relationships. I also have a few quick tips that have helped me maintain my sanity, perhaps they can help you too!
1) Write lists
Last year was the first year that I really felt overwhelmed in my work. It got to a point where I had so much on my plate that there was no way I could possibly remember all the tasks I had to complete by the end of the week. By writing out a list of everything that needs to be done, you can visualize what is at hand and begin to nibble away at it and prioritize your items with corresponding numbers or colors. After all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
2) ”Live in day tight compartments” –Dale Carnegie
By doing all that you can TODAY you will make yourself an easier tomorrow. Instead of waiting to finish that assignment that is due next Tuesday, knock it off the list today so you can move through even more of your list tomorrow and make life easier for your future self.
3) Surround yourself with motivated individuals
If you surround yourself with people who take classes seriously, you will see a tremendous leap in your own productivity. Fly with the eagles and don’t let the turkeys get you down.