The Other Part of Time Management

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A large part of being a student is not being a student.

I remember storming through Spring semester. When it came time for summer, I really had no clue what to do. It kind of felt like I forgot who I was and everything I did on my free time because I was so wired up to work like a machine. I remember going to the library and reading books nonstop for a couple of weeks because I had a strong feeling that I needed to keep working and I felt guilty when I was not doing anything, even though there was absolutely nothing to do.

Being a student in college calls for amazing time management skills and endless hours of actively studying and working to succeed, but it also calls for breaks, which is something we usually neglect to do while the semester is in session.

Breaks are great to prevent semester burn outs. Now that I am in my junior year, I have realized a pattern that I have been following: For fall semesters, coming back from months of doing absolutely nothing, I usually stay on my toes until midterm point and begin to burn out right before because I get exhausted, causing me to do terrible on midterms and then spend the rest of the semester stressing and trying to get back on track by overworking. This usually ends horribly. Spring semesters, I usually start off slow because I am exhausted from my previous semester’s shenanigans, which helps me regulate breaks for myself right from the beginning so that I can easily prevent the mid semester burnout.

Taking breaks and knowing when to take them are a powerful tools for your academic achievements. These breaks also help you to remember who you are, while striving to be an A grade machine. It takes me forever to remember who I am all over again after spring semesters because I spend so much time away from being myself or when there is time I am usually too exhausted to do anything.

We are not our Grades poster
Spring 2016 Tabling – Now This Poster is FILLED!

Even though it sounds really easy to take a break, figuring out when to take a break when there is barely any time to finish work as is is really tricky. A lot of my free time ends up being wasted lying in bed before school dreading to start my day; falling asleep in the Science library, while trying to get work done between my classes; or laying down, after school, unable to move from the exhaustion.

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In my last blog post, I talked about time management, mostly in the sense of not procrastinating and getting work done efficiently, but there is a great deal of time management that goes behind taking breaks. To allow myself to take breaks, I need to finish all of the work I have planned for that day or for the week, so that I do not ruin my “break day” by stressing our about work I still have to get done. Setting myself up to look forward to things is a technique I use to make myself finish my work faster, instead of moping around. The thought of working hard now and being able to relax later at a set date for an event always makes me work a ton more efficiently.

Breaks are not something I am good at managing. Sometimes I am really good with self-control, and allowing myself to get back to work after a day or two of stepping away from school work, but sometimes I do not get back to the world of homework and studying. This sometimes results in me not taking breaks at all for a couple of months, in order to catch up. Doesn’t that sound stressful.

Figuring out how to balance a social life, school, sleep and pretty much everything is something I have been trying to do since starting college. Sure I have improved a lot, and I do not end my semesters scarred for life and hating myself anymore. Still, I could really improve my efficiency by a ton, if I keep trying to figure out what is not working for me. This is something I strive to continue doing. I am getting better and better.


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:

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Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary
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MyStory Mondays 10-23-17 Adjusting

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MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts.

Our UAlbany MyStory Bloggers share their lives with you to help you to stay focused on your goals, to remind and inform you about the many supports that we have on campus to help you succeed, and to let you know that, whatever you are going through, you are not alone. 

This week, we are focusing on adjusting socially and academically.

Elizabeth B
Click on the Pic to Read More about Liz’s Journey at UAlbany
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Click here to read about how Anik addressed his social fears.
When I was in a large group, I was afraid people would judge me. I would ask myself the same set of random questions in my head every time I was around a lot of people. “Is there something in my teeth?” “Is there a stain on my clothes?” “Does my breath smell okay?”

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In her last post, Simonti shared her love of music, especially Hindi music.  This week, she writes about how music had become a distraction and how she wrenched herself from her addiction to sound. Click here to read more. 

Music has always found a way to make me feel more excited about doing whatever it was I had to do. It made my life more colorful. There are certain songs, in which, I have a period of my life stored. This is something no picture or book has ever been able to do. I have been the type of person that always needed a song playing in the background, anything, just to avoid having to be without a tune. But there was a problem…

Navigating RoomHATE

 

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Kate Engert offers several steps to addressing difficult roommate situations, in her post, “Navigating RoomHATE.”  This post was part of her MyStory blog series, Metamorphosis. Click here to read her offerings.

Alex J Project MyStory 2015
Alex went through almost everything. Click on the image to read her story.

Want more stories? Click here.


Plugging Our Friends:
Check out Great Danes Daily: The UAlbany Dept. of Communication Student Blog.  You can also follow them on twitter @gr8danesdaily.

Social Resolutions

Have you ever seen a person you know from school in public and tried your best to avoid them so you do not have to greet them and make conversation with them? That was me from middle school until the beginning of 12th grade. I hated social situations. I preferred being in smaller groups of people I knew. Being in a social situation would make me very anxious and extremely fidgety. I would not know what to do with myself. When I was in a large group, I was afraid people would judge me. I would ask myself the same set of random questions in my head every time I was around a lot of people. “Is there something in my teeth?” “Is there a stain on my clothes?” “Does my breath smell okay?” Continue reading “Social Resolutions”

Musical Distractions

music-581732_960_720.jpgMany people are heavily music dependent and for all the right reasons. Music fills the void of silence when doing the most mundane tasks, like homework, working out, or going to a party you really had no intention of going to. The first “English” song I ever heard was Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold” from a friend in the 6th grade. One song turned into an ipod, stored to the brim, with music that I listened to nonstop that summer, during my trip to India. This would continue on through the 7th grade and so on. Over the years, my musical tastes changed from Katy Perry-like sounds to a wide range of genres.

Music has always found a way to make me feel more excited about doing whatever it was I had to do. It made my life more colorful. There are certain songs, in which, I have a period of my life stored. This is something no picture or book has ever been able to do. I have been the type of person that always needed a song playing in the background, anything, just to avoid having to be without a tune. But there was a problem…

Although music was something I used to escape, it was very distracting to me when I listened to music while doing homework, working on projects or doing anything that needed my full attention. For many years I shrugged it off and told myself that I was one of those people that “concentrate better with music,” but during my freshman year of college and seriously struggling with my grades I decided that I needed to stop lying to myself. In 2016, New Year’s night, I decided to give myself a whole year to work on being able to concentrate without musical “help.” Although it may sound silly, it was so hard for me to even find the motivation to do homework or study without music… so I didn’t. After years of having something distract me in the background, suddenly changing and forcing myself to use all my concentration on one task was not settling well at all in the beginning. I found myself studying for a few minutes and then taking an hour long break, or constantly fidgeting with something to keep the other half of me distracted like music did.

After a month of watching my grades deteriorate, I decided to cut off listening to anything for good unless it was playing at a store or somewhere I had no control over it playing. It took me nearly half a year to get used to focusing or finding motivation to do anything that was related to me using my brain, without tunes, but then things started to pick up rapidly. I began to memorize more, concentrate more, and finish whatever task I had to do in nearly half or a fraction of the time. After a year of working on my goal, I was able to successfully separate my academic life from music, and still let myself enjoy music when I was not studying. This resolution has been my only real, “stereotypical,” one-year-long resolution. I gave myself a set amount of time to work on something that really needed improvement, and it worked really well.


Listen to The Myth of Multitasking on NPR


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:

DSC_1440

Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary

 

MyStory Mondays 10-9-17 It is #TransferStudentWeek!

mystory-mondays

MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts.

Our UAlbany MyStory Bloggers share their lives with you to help you to stay focused on your goals, to remind and inform you about the many supports that we have on campus to help you succeed, and to let you know that, whatever you are going through, you are not alone. 

This week, get ready to dance, write, be in suspense, and to focus on being more focused.

We are featuring some of our older stories from our, current and former, UAlbany Transfers in celebration of the First National Transfer Student Week.

 

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“You feel all over the place, you get tired and stop working as efficiently as you could. You are using up energy you could be using to achieve your goals.” 

bokeh-2552956_960_720UAlbany transfer student, Heather talks about the difficulties of staying focused and how mastering the mountain of distraction has helped her to overcome the naysayers, academic hurdles, and more.  Click here to check out her latest post.


Every one of our transfer students has a unique story of how they became a Great Dane. This week, Kayla, who is thriving at UAlbany, takes us through the first part of her journey here, through a time when things were not going so well. Click here to read Soaked: Breakdown to Breakthrough Pt. 1.


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Lee MUAlbany graduate and transfer student, Lee McPeters, shares how he really struggled to succeed academically. Click here to check out his series: Struggling on the Pathway to Success – Thoughts of C Average Student.

“When I transferred to UAlbany, the almost 360 degree change was overwhelming. Classes were now much larger, and I had to start fresh and make new friends and mentors. With this change, I started to retreat inward and the pattern of self-sabotage started.” 

His story does not end there!


Resolutionary

 

This week, our “Resolutionary” bloggers Simonti and Anik write about two very different resolutions. Anik shared how he is resolved to love writing. He used to hate writing, so anything less than hate is progress right? Click here to check out his transition from being a person who hates writing to someone who tolerates it with a smile. In case you were wondering, yes, our blogger hates writing. We thing that he is doing a social experiment on himself through MyStory.

Simonti’s blog is musical. Get ready to dance to Hindi music and smell the good food through her writing. She shared how she learned to embrace her culture on her own time. Click here for more.


Finally the New York State Writers Institute has prepared an incredible series: Telling the Truth in a Post-truth WorldA multi-event symposium of topics crucial to an open democratic society. Talk about stories! Check out their program.

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The Power of Focus

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If you listen to any successful person talk about how they got to where they are, a lot of times, the word focus will be mentioned at some point. Everyone wants to be successful, but many of us lack focus. Although we live in this multitasking age, multitasking just does not work. And I am not just talking about daily tasks. I am talking about greater focus in life. Look back and be honest with yourself. Do you consider yourself to be a focused person? I personally do not consider myself  to be a focused person. I constantly have to remind myself, “Heather, be focused.” We are constantly getting distracted from what we need to be focused on. Whether we are distracted by our phones, other people, worried thoughts or, you fill in the blank. Continue reading “The Power of Focus”

It’s About the Little Wins

 

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College can be an incredibly tumultuous time for people, filled with high highs and low lows. The school year can be so stressful. Between homework, studying for tests, working, going to class, and having a social life; it is hard to remain sane. Although it is important to keep your grades up and remain diligent, you also have to keep your mental and emotional well-being in check. This is way easier said, than done. Continue reading “It’s About the Little Wins”

Cha Cha Changes

 


If adaptability is key to human evolution, I am surprised I made it this far.

I seemed to have always had an issue with adapting to my surroundings or change. Either I never fully adapt or it takes me forever to successfully adjust. In fact, my Project MyStory blog from last year was all about my time adapting to moving out of Queens, New York to Albany, New York the summer before freshman year. It is incredible how much I let that transition affect my mental and physical health, which then, affected my academic performance tremendously. Since finishing that semester and since completing my blogs, I made a little mental note to myself to figure out what works and does not, in order to help face newness without fear.  And in case you were wondering, I would not say that I am fully adapted to living in Albany yet, even though I have been here for almost three years. Continue reading “Cha Cha Changes”