We’re all overbooked. The question is how to keep your sanity
“There just isn’t enough hours in a day to do everything I want/need to do.”
Oh, how many times have I said this and similar things. Between due dates and coffee dates, meetings and assignments, it frequently seems as if it is impossible to accomplish all the many things on my checklist in a few 24 hours.
Anyone who has met me knows a few things about me instantly.
Number one: I am doing too many things at once.
Number two: Everything will get done, whether it kills me or not.
Students at Christopher Newport have a reputation for being overbooked, overinvolved and overstressed.
And yet, we still manage day in and day out, week one through week 15, until all the tests have been taken, all the papers have been written and all the clubs, competitions and volunteer hours have been finished for the semester.
This is my seventh semester operating like this, and there are no signs that my eighth will be any different. Between my two jobs at CNU, a part-time internship, a full-time relationship, the gym, research projects and, oh by the way, classes – it’s amazing I have any time to breathe, let alone rest. People who have seen my Google calendar wonder if I have lost my sanity, and some days I wonder that myself.
Despite all of this, this has been my healthiest semester (so far), both physically and mentally. This is the first semester where I have made it to week four without pulling an all-nighter. I have been able to find blocks of time during the day to work on homework and to spend time with friends.
Yes, I “only” get around six hours of sleep a night, but that’s better than during my freshman year, where I averaged four or less just because I could.
Yes, I am booked from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. most days, but I am less stressed than during my sophomore year, where I struggled to maintain a calendar organized enough to keep track of my countless meetings and assignments.
Yes, I still eat out way too much, but I’m doing more home cooking than my junior year, where several times I would go a week without using my kitchen and rely on dining dollars and Chick-fil-A to get me through the day.
This year is just as busy for me as the one’s previous, but this is the first year I’ve felt able to do everything I want to do.
I am the Editor-in-Chief of this paper, a goal I’ve been striving to complete for the last two years.
I am exercising more regularly and learning to cook new meals, in an attempt to set in place habits I hope will last longer than the next few weeks (we’ll see how well that goes).
I have two research-based term papers, but I am finally doing research on topics that truly interest me and were picked by me.
And my proudest accomplishment of the semester so far: I’ve actually woken up to my alarm every day, a feat that would surprise anyone who I roomed with freshman or sophomore year.
This isn’t a piece to tout my accomplishments or to tell you I’ve got it all figured out. Quite the opposite. It took me almost four years to get to where I am right now, and I know in another four years, I will be in a much different place still.
If you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior or even senior, there’s always time to figure out what works for you. We’re all always going to be overbooked and underslept, overstressed and underfed and overcommitted and underprepared at times.
Surviving, not thriving is the name of the game once in a while, but that doesn’t make it a sustainable lifestyle.
However, we are all making small improvements to our lives, whether it’s learning a new concept, figuring out how to eat a little healthier or just finding a ringtone that will wake you up in the morning.
Each one probably doesn’t seem like it makes much of a difference, but I have found they quickly add up, and one night you will look back, as I am now, and admire the progres you’ve made.
What small changes have you made in your life so far, and in which seemingly insignificant areas of your life have you made improvements?
They might seem like nothing now, but they will add up, and in four years, you might be a lot closer to where you want to be than you believe right now.
~Matthew Scherger, Editor-in-Chief~