This post is to answer questions that people have asked me quite a few times. People ask me how do I manage 6 modules with 3-4 CCAs and some form of a social life (and remain sound and not be collapsing every night). Here’s some basic tips and notes on it (which you’ve probably read before but decided it was too hard to apply), but hey, just try them. If they work for me, they might work for you, too, possibly.
1. It is important to know your saturation point.
Everyone has a certain limit to how much responsibilities we can take, if you do know you are unable to pull that all nighter (again) to make up for the previous night of staying up, THEN DON’T. Knowing your body and your limits is really key to productivity. There is no point forcing yourself to stay awake to try and complete the assignment (and then you doze off all over it) when you could go to bed and wake up the next day and do it – you’ll probably take less time too. Just go to bed already.
2. STOP being afraid
And if you are, time to grow a pair and start living. I cannot say this enough, that it is important to go for what you want. We are all afraid – heck, I was terrified at myself. What crazy person overloads on both academics and CCA, but you never know how much you can take if you don’t try. People hear my story and they’re like, how is that possible – and I reply that you never know how amazing you can be and how much you can do or take on until you try. Stop being afraid to try new things, to take risks to do/pursue what you love and just go for it. University is the last time in your life where you can take risks and live life madly before societal demands (more of it at least, and in a larger scale) takes over. So do everything you wanted to do, who cares if people judge you for varied interests (does it really matter????). If you’re sick of what you’re studying, don’t be afraid to jump into something else. You never know what you’ll gain from trying (and even if it is a loss in the end, at least you tried, you learnt.)
3. Set aside quiet time to reflect and chill and be with yourself
This is so so so so important. I actually am still learning this too, really. As an extrovert who cannot stop adding commitments into my already disgustingly packed schedule, I know I find this hard. But it is important because it helps you to gain back a sense of who you are, what’s going on, consolidate your thoughts and prepare for anything else to come. In the light of this, it is good to have occasional empty days, or days where you purposely set aside time to just be alone and spend time alone, go on a photography walk, read a book by a cafe, surf the net, go for a run, head to the beach, go volunteer, do whatever it is you like, but try it alone, it is a different experience and one that makes you very aware of yourself and your surroundings. I’ve found that getting in touch with myself in this mad world can somehow be very healing and refreshing. (try it ;))
4. Don’t make to do lists, but organize everything into your calendar. (I’m sure I saw this somewhere else on the internet) and STOP procrastinating.
I’m not kidding. To do lists just mean you’re gonna see the endless mountain of things to do which can be very demotivating. Try instead to place things into your calendar according to when it is due, and for heavens sake, DON’T procrastinate. DO whatever has to be done according to the due date in order of deadline (or importance if you want to). This is to avoid last minute shocks of your computer crashing, your printer being ruined, proposal re-re-re-reediting, vendor backing out, etc. On the topic of not procrastinating, I know you are exhausted, dead tired, caffeine drugged and zombified, but if you have to complete something, get your butt off the bed and do it if it is to be done because you just have to. Obviously to avoid these, you should try and complete as soon as possible. It really helps to try this. (In a previous post I did encourage y’all to make to do lists, I think I prefer this method now)
Lastly, they say Carpe Diem, maybe you should try it.