Kudos to The Bangles for this blog title. Truly do wish it was Sunday, as that’s my only sleep-in day of the week and I’m only committed to one external thing. But – moving on –
It’s been a hot minute, team. And for good reason – which I’ll undoubtedly get to in another blog post. But let’s talk about the ways I’m alleviating some of the stress of being in a consistent, unrelenting time crunch – as my good friend Elizabeth (Barrett Browning) might say, “How do I
love thee deal with the demands of a full schedule? Let me count the ways.”
I’m conscious of the fact that I essentially made this post in first year, but I guess it goes to show that none of these things ever really change, especially if you’ve got a personality type that leads you to manifest them. I thought I’d go through the list of fixes I made in that post way back when, and discuss them in greater length, or see how they compare to how I’m currently coping with things. (Also unearthed this post, which deals with similar themes? Maybe this is a companion to that as well.)
1. iCal is… still your best pal
I’ve actually switched onto Google Calendar, though for most of my life I’ve been a big list-maker. I think that’s my default state, and I still do it often. But there’s something to be said for seeing everything spread out before you, and Google Calendar offers way more colour-coding options than Apple’s ‘Calendar’ app, so I’ve found myself migrating in that direction. Also I’m just very conscious of the fact that one day my laptop might supernova and I’d rather have my schedule independent of particular devices.
I also think in the first iteration of this list I focused a lot on calendars as a method by which you could allot time to complete tasks. And I stand by that. But I also think it’s important that, when you’re in the throes of busy times like these, when you’re pulled in a bunch of different directions, you have a specific note of where you need to be at any given time. You can’t rely on your brain, as magnificent as it is. It’s also safest to keep this information in one place, so that anything that overlaps each other can be brought to your attention immediately, and either remedied or otherwise dealt with.
I still agree with everything I said in first year. But I also think that as you move through university your priorities may undergo a shift. This isn’t me saying, “I’m jaded and don’t care about marks anymore, Cs get degrees, nothing matters because the planet is burning” etc. (though shades of that are perhaps true), but rather: if you are embracing career opportunities outside of uni, it’s alright to admit you haven’t had much time to do an assignment. It always comes down to doing your best in the given circumstances. Sometimes you’ve just got to smash something out and move on. Of course, if things are truly dire you could also think about asking for an extension! I’ve just not done that yet so can’t offer up advice on the protocol.
3. “Finding a location that works for you”, first year Tate, only works if you’ve got time to do that
At this point in time my schedule means I’m taking any moment when it comes to me. I’ll use time in between classes to prepare for assignments or to learn lines or to deal with admin and it doesn’t matter much where that takes place. Anywhere I can sit down and get a decent internet connection will suffice! Most of the time I’ll just be handling things in my bedroom if I have time when I get home at night, but I feel like recommending places like the Kate or OGGB or the library are still good if you’ve got the time. And I’ll sing HSB’s praises ’til the end, even if I still get almost locked in when we have to rehearse in there sometimes.
4. Remember that this ends… but also revel in the fact that it’s happening
Revel in the accomplishment of these tasks. Revel in the opportunities that you are given – because they’re a privilege. Truly. When you think about all of the other things going on in the world, or how easily you could be somewhere else, or nowhere at all, it’s a blessing that you are able to spend your time doing things that enrich you. I’m not saying this to preach false (or forced) positivity, because I think that’s dangerous, but there’s no harm in looking back on things, or even around at them, and saying, “yeah. Wow. I did that.” Or “I’m doing this. I’m managing. I’m striving, I’m working hard, I’m moving forward.” Sometimes just battling through is worth commending.
And a crucial new addition…
5. Do ! Not ! Glorify ! Exhaustion !
I’m worried that’s what it seems like I’m peddling. I absolutely am not. Believe me – fatigue sucks.
You have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself (I can hear my friends rolling their eyes at me, of all people, for saying this). But, please: you need to sleep. You need to be fed and watered. None of these things you’re taking on are worth more than your well-being. Even in a disgusting, capitalistic sense, you can’t perform at top capacity if you’re drained. If you’re not respecting your resources. And that includes yourself. You need to take care of your body, and your mind, and take time out to ensure they’re both alright. If you don’t take that time, believe me – your body will force you to.
Wow! Okay! This got very doom and gloom! Totally not what I was going for, team, but I guess it’s part and parcel of the thing. Auckland is full of fantastic opportunities – some of which I talked over with my buddy Matt in a cheeky new podcast! – and this time truly is what you make of it. But some of that comes down to navigating yeses and nos correctly. Important to weigh it all up – as with everything!
Ya got this, mate. We’ll both be grand.
See you soon – and this time that’s a promise –