The Other Part of Time Management

alarm-clock-1193291_960_720

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.

time mgmt fail

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:

DSC_1440

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

Current Theme:
Resolutionary
Advertisements

Moving Forward

Street with nothing on it

I thought I was all set. I thought I was ready.  All of my core coursework was completed.  I was working on the weekends and whatever free time I had was devoted to helping care for my grandfather.  I thought I was motivated.  I thought my goal to be a nurse was the end all, be all.  Acceptance letter received, required materials purchased, physical examination done, student I.D. obtained, first couple of weeks done  –   I had to make a choice: adapt or become defeated.  When I thought I had my life all planned out, suddenly: BOOM! I felt a big smack in the face. Continue reading “Moving Forward”

Do you have Grit?

statue-1515390_960_720Recently, I came across a Ted Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth. I had seen this Ted Talk once before in a class when I first started college and did not think much of it. When I came across it again, only a few months ago, what she talked about really resonated with me as a senior in college. In the video, she spoke about the idea of grit and the power of passion and perseverance. She talked about how she taught seventh grade math for the New York City public school district. Through teaching, she found that IQ was not the only thing that separated her best students from her worst. Some of her top students had lower IQ scores than her less successful students and vice versa. She then studied the question, “What characteristic leads a person to be more successful?”

Through her research, she found that the one defining quality in people who were successful was grit. It was not IQ score, socioeconomic status, or physical health. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Duckworth said that grit is having stamina and the ability to weather the storms that life brings while continuing to work on your goals day in and day out. In her words, grit is living life like it is a marathon, not a race.

runner-805392_960_720.jpg

This idea of grit has become a key theme both in and out of my academic life. Every day I have to “check my grit”…no really…about 3 times a day I say to myself in my head, “check your grit.”

I may be weird, but it is the difference between me going home to relax only to push more work onto tomorrow, or going to the library and setting myself up for a good week. I ask, “Am I working my hardest? Could I do more today to achieve my goals? What are your goals?”

If I just push a little harder today, then I will have a better tomorrow. This statement has proven to be overwhelmingly true in my life. Like all college students, I am vulnerable to procrastination, laziness, and discouragement. School is hard. And life is harder! No one is on their game 100% of the time. The great thing about grit is that it is not something you are born with or born into. Which means it can be learned over time. It also means that there is potential inside of everyone to succeed. Lazy days are inescapable. But remembering to check your grit on a regular basis can turn you from a person who can work hard sometimes, into a hard-working person.

The American dream is real. You can come from nothing and make something of yourself. I was a poor, mediocre student in high school with issues. Now I am an undergraduate student, taking graduate courses with a bright future ahead of me. Having grit is the difference between knowing what you want, and actually getting what you want. Having goals and actually achieving them. Do not let anybody ever tell you that you cannot achieve what you want to achieve. Because if you have the determination and passion to do something, you can do it. You can do it because this world is built off the backs of underdogs. This world is built off the back of gritty humans. And gritty humans get things done regardless of race, IQ, socioeconomic status, or cards that are dealt to them. Grit is a field leveler. It is that thing inside of yourself that no one else can tap into. That underutilized resource of hope and change. So, try checking your grit on a daily basis. Move your life into the direction you desire. Because no one knows your potential but you, and no one else is going to bring it out of you.


 

 


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:

Heather Intro

Heather M.
Class of 2018
Major: Communication
Minor: Psychology
Blog Theme:
One Life’s Potential

Time

“Working on time management was not a choice I had,
it was something I had to do to survive college.”

It is 9 p.m. on a Tuesday and I just got home. It was a long day of four, back-to-back, tedious, and complicated classes. There are two chapters and a lecture slide to review for developmental biology, an essay to write about psychoanalysis, a difficult reading from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography for American literature, an essay and notes to review for history, a lab to read over and prepare for, and another essay to write for my contemporary writers class. So what do I do first? I spend an hour showering and then another hour eating, and then waste some more time prepping to sit down and study.

definition-procrastination

I remember listening to my senior year AP Biology teacher stress us about time management, and the whole time I thought it would never be a problem I would have. During my freshmen year of college, my non-problem hit me like a truck, just like she said it would.

Time management is something I never had trouble with before college. In high school, and before that, I always kept myself on a cycle of getting home, doing my homework, and then doing whatever I wanted until bedtime. Coming into college, the workload amplifies, and suddenly the responsibility of life and just being older and having less energy, makes it more difficult to maintain a steady schedule. Even though I don’t procrastinate like some students around me do, I still do not get most things done as efficiently as I could.

Reflecting back to freshman year, I remember grabbing random assignments and getting them done, but, from time to time, forgetting an assignment or simply, missing a  deadline which really put a dent in my grades. I had to get into the habit of writing down assignments and when they were due, and making sure to reference my list of to-dos from time to time, so I never left an assignment undone, even if it had to be finished in a rush.

Diane
Peer Advisor Diane caught planning out her semester with color coded pens. It works!

One method that I have been using since last semester, which I believe helped me to get a stream of As, is to make a chart with the days of the week and filling out which assignment I should do on what day, corresponding with the amount of time I would have to do school work. When I first started doing this I remember filling out the first few days of the week with a ton of work and nothing for the rest of the week. The problems with this, was that I would either be overloading myself with work, even though I had ample amount of time to get stuff done, if I spaced them out. Also, if I did not get everything that I wanted to get done for the day, I would feel really discouraged and keep working until they were done, which resulted in minimal to no sleep on some nights. Although I do not have those issues every week anymore because I space out my work accordingly, on busier weeks, I find myself getting barely any sleep.

Working on time management was not a choice I had, it was something I had to do to survive college. Time management was not something I could make a resolution about because it had to be put into effect immediately, to try new methods week-by-week to find what fits me and my work habits the best.  I am still perfecting my way of managing what to do and when to do it. Even though my way does not work out every week, I am better than I was before and I can work with that.


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 10-23-17 Adjusting

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, we are focusing on adjusting socially and academically.

Elizabeth B
Click on the Pic to Read More about Liz’s Journey at UAlbany
Anik Pic.JPG
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?”

simonti pic.jpg
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

 

accommodation-946988_960_720

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”

It’s About the Little Wins

 

mountain-2565372_960_720.jpg

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”

Keeping up with Long Distance

tumblr_n1ojydBpVp1tthnmlo1_400

Moving away from home involves a lot more than experiencing a new place, living with new people, and starting a new life. Everything is new but there is some aspect of the old that you want to keep, such as your friendships and relationships back at home. When I moved away I found it to be refreshing that I could easily drop those toxic relationships that were detrimental to my well-being, but it was worse that I could not see the people I truly cared about as often as I wanted to. It was definitely a difficult transition but I learned some tips on how to maintain those relationships when I was away.

  1. Communication

Simple enough, we’ve got to communicate. I know that it’s not the same as face to face but thank goodness we have Face Time and cell phones to communicate with each other. It’s such a blessing that we can call whenever the time is right. Our lives get pretty hectic, but setting aside the time to talk to those you care about is incredibly important.

  1. Share Moments

You don’t always have to set aside a time for a full on phone conversation. Take pictures of those moments that make you happy during your day and send them to your friends and family. Snapchat is perfect for this. Then, when your friends and family have the time, they can respond and enjoy that moment with you.

  1. Embrace Your Tears

It’s evident that when we miss people, we cry, and that’s okay. As long as you cope with the sadness in a healthy manner, this can only make your relationships stronger because it shows that you care. To cope, try joining a group on campus and having a support group. Go to the Counseling and Psychological services or call the Middle Earth Hotline. Write out your feelings or sing a sad song. This can only strengthen your relationships.

  1. Always Have Your Next Get-Together Planned

We have weekends and breaks during the semester for a reason, so we can go home! Mark it on your calendar and plan out who you are going to see as soon as you get home and what you are going to do with them. This can lessen that tensed feeling you get when you don’t see someone for a long period of time.

  1. Keep Yourself Busy

I know this may sound like a step back from maintaining a long distance relationship but when you’re busy and your people back at home are busy, there will be less worry on your shoulders when you send a text and don’t get a response right away. It can also keep you moving in that direction you are headed in, the reason you did move away.

The most amazing thing about long distance is that when you have this space between you and your circle of friends back at home, you begin to realize who is really there for you and who is not. You’ll begin to see who contributes to that effort you’re putting out to stay in contact and who isn’t. You may even find yourself not wanting to contribute to a previous relationship when you move away and meet new people. This change is good, because you are discovering who you are and what you want in your life. As for the people you’re missing right now, they want to see you succeed as much as you do. So stick it out for them and for you. You are a strong individual and you’ve got this down.


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories  – their voices.
About the Author:
DSC_1193.JPG
Elizabeth B.
Class of 2018
Major: Communication
Minor: Art
Blog Theme: Homebody for Everybody

Going into Freshman Year

“High school graduation day was a very exciting day at my house because I was going to be the first in my family to hold a degree achieved in America.”

lockers-94959_960_720

The end of Senior year of high school is a very exciting time for almost all of us. The weather is getting nicer, graduation is fast approaching, and you have chosen what college you will be attending in the fall. This was me at the end of senior year in high school. I was very relaxed. The workload was winding down quite a bit which meant more free time and more hanging out with my friends. High school graduation day was a very exciting day at my house because I was going to be the first in my family to hold a degree achieved in America. That summer, before freshman year of college, was one of the best summers I had. I got lots of travelling done and spent a lot of time with my friends before classes started. Towards the end of summer, I made a resolution to myself, that I would focus, study hard, and not procrastinate so that I could achieve exceptional grades. I thought that since I was having a very relaxed summer, I would be able to focus better once school started.

The summer flew by and before I knew it, the first day of my freshman year at the University at Albany had arrived. I looked forward to starting this new chapter of my life, but at the same time, I was very nervous since I was a new student at a huge, confusing campus. Little did I know that freshman year was going to be a year of many ups and downs. From what I have seen, freshman year of college does not go as planned for many people, and that was the case with me as well. Continue reading “Going into Freshman Year”