Dealing with an Over Packed Schedule

Dealing with an Over Packed Schedule

Currently, my planner and weekly schedule are high school me’s worst nightmare. There isn’t a week that isn’t previously preoccupied with an exam or project to do. My weekends are filled with community service events and pre-planned outings with my friends. I have classes on most days for the majority of my morning with club meetings taking up my nights. And who can forget about homework and studying, a necessary evil.

In my sophomore year, I chose to have seventeen credits for this semester. Telling other people is my secret source of pride and joy; the look in their face gives me a weird sense of satisfaction and pride. I rushed a sorority this semester. I’m a part of two separate research projects. I’m in a grand total of three clubs.

I am a Busy Bee™ and I am loving it.

I'm doing it. Seventeen credits, a sorority, two research projects, and lots of obligations. I'm still alive, but I'm barely breathing. // #college #scheduling #advice

My classes:

  • Biology 1 + Lab
  • Organic Chemistry 1
  • Physiology
  • Statistics 2
  • Developmental Psychology

My Extracurriculars:

  • My sorority, DNZ, which has been hectic on in its own accord, what with being a new member and having to go through initiation, not to mention the mandatory community service.
  • Two research labs, both of which are so different but so interesting.
  • Premed AMSA
  • Circle K
  • Psychology Club
  • MentorUF sessions

I wake up every day at 7:00 AM and get ready for my day. My classes are back to back, starting from 8:30 AM and ending at various times. My times set aside for studying have been crammed into the few hours before the next social outing or even sacrificed at sometimes so I can maintain some semblance of a regular life. My only meal at times is dinner, because it’s just too hectic some days.

But I am managing. And I am thriving.

I absolutely love being busy. I absolutely hate idle time and my worst nightmare is sitting on a couch and somehow letting hours slip by without having done anything but stare at my phone or the TV. Or, even worse, waking up past eleven (yes, even on weekends and school breaks) because then your whole day is just set up for disappointment and unproductivity.

Don’t get me wrong: I am still a hot mess. I still misplace all my homework and forget due dates and study last minute for exams. I am still the same person I was in high school, but now with a busier schedule. It hasn’t killed me yet, because I’ve adapted to the demands that my schedule has.

So here are some tips so you too can manage a hectic schedule:

notes

Take good notes. It’s hard to learn from sloppy notes. When your handwriting is illegible and information is packed into tiny corners of the page, it can be almost impossible to study. While you definitely should not spend hours on a single sheet of paper to make it look as perfect as possible, you should put more effort into making your notes fun to learn from.

Do only the things you love. I am in love with all my extracurricular activities. I do not regret taking them on and will never willingly give them up. As much as I will complain about the struggle, I will never hate my schedule because it’s filled with things I love. Sure, I have to run from class to class, but I want to be a doctor in the future, so it’s all for the best. Reason with yourself: you’re doing everything for a reason. If you don’t love it, why make yourself miserable.

Keep a solid squad. My friends and I recently bought a “squad goals” shirt. As cheesy as it is, I absolutely do not regret my decision. The only thing that keeps me sane are my friends and having them constantly there to motivate me or to console me for whatever little thing I’m crying about is the best feeling ever. Surround yourself with people who bring good vibes into your life and will lift you up when you’re down.

planner

Keep a planner. I like to plan my days hourly, but that has a lot of drawbacks. For one, I find that if I don’t stick to the schedule exactly, I get really upset and disappointed with myself, which is the completely opposite of how a #BossLady should feel about herself. I like to write down all my commitments and log them into a daily hour-by-hour schedule so I can see where my free time lies and when I can nap or study.

Do not be afraid. The more hesitation you have, the less successful you be. If there’s anything I learned from my high school psychology class, it’s that going into something with a negative attitude will not be any help to you. I start each day telling myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to.

But don’t take on more than you can handle. You need to know your limits. There are so many clubs and volunteer opportunities I wish I could take on, but realistically, I know I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Pace yourself, and know when you’ve taken on too much. It’s okay to say no to things, and there’s always time to pick it up again.

coffee

Make time for you. Needless to say, keeping up with a hectic schedule will mean nothing if you are constantly both mentally and physically exhausted. Make sure you know when you need a break. It’s not giving up to skip a class because you know you just can’t. It’s not giving up to take a nap instead of going to a meeting. It’s not giving up to prioritize yourself. But do know that you made these commitments, so instead of constantly wearing yourself out and then taking three days to recover, be kind to yourself every day.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to bombard yourself with obligations. If you’re like me, you have a pressing need to be busy. I can’t stand being in my room, for example, because I think it’s very lonely and sitting there by myself was becoming so unhealthy for me, mental health wise, that I just needed a change of scenery. The more things that keep me from locking myself in my room constantly, the better.

I also transform into an actual potato when I’m not busy. Even though I stated before that I hate being idle, if I have nothing to do, I will most likely bum around on the internet for hours on end. And I’ll hate myself intensely for it.

Next semester, I won’t be packing on classes like I did now. But I will be keeping the same extracurriculars and hopefully taking more on. I believe in finding a balance and just because this is the balance that works for me, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work for everyone. Since high school, I’ve always had a lot on my plate, so I know that I can survive this. But being successful goes beyond cramming in every possible activity in your schedule.

Whatever makes you successful and happy is what’s going to make you a #BossLady. So go out there and be the best you that you could possibly be.

Published by Joanne
I'm Joanne, an eighteen year old college student living in rainy, rainy Florida. On this blog, you can find a collection of all my random thoughts and maybe some actually helpful college advice here and there.

2 thoughts on “Dealing with an Over Packed Schedule

  1. This post is perfect. I’m the same way with not liking to be idle. I’m a fidgeter and have to keep my mind and body busy at all times. I love all of your tips! Especially the solid squad one. I want a squad goals shirt for me and my friends now too!

    Caitlyn | http://www.collegewithcaitlyn.com

    • Hey, thank you so much! I have such a hard time trying to explain to other people that I can’t function when not busy haha. I’m glad to have found a kindred spirit ♥

      We got the shirt from H&M for around $7, I think? I’m not sure but it was well worth it. 🙂

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