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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Moving Forward

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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”

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”

Keeping up with Long Distance

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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:
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Elizabeth B.
Class of 2018
Major: Communication
Minor: Art
Blog Theme: Homebody for Everybody

Final Thoughts: Move Forward

amazon-1300350_960_720On,Tuesday, April 18th, I had my first interactive tabling session and it was a success! Many students participated by taking the time to reflect on the many types of losses and by answering one of the following questions:

  • What’s one thing you told yourself to get through one of these types of losses?
  • What’s one thing you would tell someone going through one of these types of losses?
  • What is one thing you wish you could tell a loved one you lost or a person you lost as a friend?

The types of losses that the students reflected on were loss of motivation, loved one, identity/sense of self,  friendship and academic/career opportunity. I was amazed that so many students could identify with at least one of these types of losses and/or would know what to say to someone who was going through a similar situation. Something I’ve talked about a lot in my blog posts this semester was the power that words hold, and it was evident that other students are aware of that power as well. Continue reading “Final Thoughts: Move Forward”

Self-Care for A Positive Mindset

Sisyphean toilSelf-care is so important to me and I know sometimes I do not do enough of it.  I have a tendency to take on too much. When you combine this with needing time to just de-stress and reflect, it becomes nearly impossible to actually do.

Even my supervisor, Kim, is aware that I take on too much and we have talked about this in one-on-one meetings and in evaluations as well. In my most recent evaluation, as my area of improvement, Kim stated, “Kerry has dealt with a lot of loss this past year. It is important for her to take the time for self care.” We have talked about certain goals that I have for myself in relation to self-care and I appreciate her for being so supportive. Continue reading “Self-Care for A Positive Mindset”

Healing Through Poetry and Music

diary-1446082_960_720.jpgI’ve always known the power that words hold. I discovered this when I wrote my first poem at 11 years old. For me, poetry is my usual go-to when I want to express myself. It’s difficult to tell people how you feel sometimes, yet easier to just write it down. But even then, sometimes just writing how you feel gets difficult, or even daunting because writing down how you feel makes it even more real. Continue reading “Healing Through Poetry and Music”

I am My Own Man

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This mantra, used by so many, drains my soul. Staying positive is now my goal.

There are times when one places a lot of thoughts and emotions behind what they think love is. Females tend to build up moments in our head without being the least bit realistic. Not all of us of course, but a lot of us. Personally speaking, I know that I tend to do this a lot, even with topics unrelated to love. For example, I tend to play out how I think a certain event is going to take place and then I’ll go through all possible retorts or responses, so that I can have a comeback. Most of the time I end up overthinking or over-complicating the situation and end up building stress and angst instead of it actually benefiting me. I find that it is easier and more effective approaching things with an open and positive energy rather than preparing for the worst of every outcome. Desired human responses are not guaranteed. You cannot predict the answer or outcome a person will take on. In addition, sometimes, information you did not know about played an important role in how a situation turned out. Continue reading “I am My Own Man”

Motivation Plus Compassion – Advising Plus

17201377_1306486016107772_4566494713974496269_nI didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. The one thing I really felt passionate about was fitness. I used to be overweight, and I looked for schools to help me with that. I found the World of Fitness Living-Learning Community, and it ended up changing my life. Not only have I grown as a leader, but I’ve also learned that I really do love helping people. Right now I’m working for University at Albany Campus Recreation at the SEFCU and Indian Quad gyms teaching Insanity on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. After I started Insanity, I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Being in college and teaching and instructing all these different kinds of people, with different backgrounds, and different personalities, has enabled me to integrate them into my own being and knowledge. I’m able to talk to and relate to so many different people.

Fitness shouldn’t be about the aesthetic display of your physique, it should be a reflection of who you are. Take advantage of all the wellness centers that we have here, and all the free group instruction classes. It all comes down to intrinsic motivation. You should be able to wake up in the morning and say, “today is the day that I’m going to take charge of my health, take charge of my life, and take charge of me.”

Sophomore year, before I started Insanity, I was depressed, for a while. There’s a mentor I had, an advisor. Her name is Barbara Brown from Advising Plus. She is literally my second mom. She helped me realize that I wasn’t alone. She helped me stay on track. You cannot allow yourself to plunge deeper into that nasty abyss. Because once you get used to that feeling, it becomes second nature. I felt like I was weak to ask for help. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting help. If I didn’t get help, I would probably still be where I was or even worse. That’s the scariest thing. It’s not about you. You always have at least one person who cares about you. You never want that person to see something bad happen to you. You don’t want that to be the very last memory that you leave here. You will never know your full potential unless you wake up and get started on something. Even if it’s just one goal a day, get started on it. Don’t leave things to chance. Because then you’ll never get anything done.

College is a time for discovering yourself and what gives you goosebumps, your passion. Learn to see things and live for the present, and learn to love yourself. Nowadays we’re not taught how to love ourselves. Where ever you are, whatever sort of state of mind that you’re at, it’s all temporary. Make sure that you leave your mark on earth. We live very short life spans. You want to be able to say “I actually made a difference.” That’s my goal. That’s really what I want everybody to aspire to.”

-Jayvon Evans
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Major: Communications
Minor: Business
Year: Senior

Photo by Naomi McPeters

— at University at Albany, SUNY.

From the Comfort of My Covers

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When I was little I used to find such comfort in being under the covers. My mom would tuck me in and turn off the lights and I knew that as long as I stayed under the covers the monster that lived under my bed could not grab me and I would be safe. Crazy to think that, at 20 years old, my covers bring me the same comfort as when I was a child, but this time it’s not because I am scared of any monster. The world seems to freeze when I am in my bed and all my responsibilities fade. As my body sinks into the mattress and my comforter falls perfectly around me, the warmth of it draws me into slumber. You can’t stress over anything when you are asleep right? Continue reading “From the Comfort of My Covers”