Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Balancing Act

So, I'm a college student, and a writer, and a reader, and a procrastinator. That's basically my life, and, honestly, it takes up a lot of time. Take a typical week for me (this semester):

Work: 20 hours/week
Class: 15 hours/week
Transport: Approx. 1 hour/day
Homework (weekdays): Minimum 3 hours/night
Homework (weekends): Minimum 5 hours/day
Sleep (on a good day): 7 hours/night
Workouts: 1.5 hours/week 

Keep in mind that this isn't even including things like eating, going grocery shopping, reading for fun, writing, or even showers. It's also with a minimum workload for class, which I kind of haven't had since the first week. My grand total is: 115.5 hours. Taking into account that there's 168 hours in a week, that means that 69% of my time is spent on something school/work related. And that's sans-procrastination.

Add in an hour and a half every day to wake up, make coffee, drink coffee, make breakfast, eat breakfast, put on my makeup, put on clothes, and perform other necessary deeds to get ready for the day, I'm at 123 hours, or 73% of my time.

Remember when I said that this was a minimum workload? That's with the regular readings for every class. Regular readings. Now, let's pretend that it's last week and I had a group presentation to prepare for. With two days of meeting for two hours, I'm at 127 hours. Then, at least 8 hours of individual research (in which I yell at my internet for not work, and yell at my laptop because the internet is not working), that puts me at 135 hours, or 80% of my total time. And that's just one class

Say, instead, that it's this week (reset the clock at 123 hours). I have two papers due next week, one on Monday and one on Tuesday. The Monday one is 4-6 pages long, and the Tuesday is 8-10. I figure just on writing/outlining alone, I'm looking at a good 10 hours of work (scattered over a few days, but still). One of them involves a LOT of research. So let me pretend that I'm awesome and it'll only take me 3 total hours of gathering sources. Then I need to read them again, and edit them. Let's say I'm slacking and it'll only take an hour each.

Now I'm at 138 hours. It's one more hour than last week, but I hope I'm getting my point across?

I said I'm a college student. It's basically my "most important" thing in life right now. I get that. I understand that. Education is important, ya-hoo. But I said that I'm a reader and a writer, as well, and, unfortunately, I don't get a lot of time for reading and writing, which are the two things I love most in the world.

You might be asking, though: what about the other 20% of your free time? That's an excellent question, my friend. That 20% is about 33 hours per week, which averages to 4 hours a day. That sounds like a lot of time, doesn't it? Not really. Not when it's scattered throughout the day, ten minutes here and an hour there between classes, or when I'm taking a twenty-minute break between chapters in a book or even between subjects.

I swear I'm not making excuses, and I swear that I have a point. I write on pieces of paper and my hands, getting ideas down. I'm always thinking about my plots and characters when I'm in the middle of class. I stay up an extra hour or two every night just to get something down, because I need that in my life.

So what's my point? When you're trying to pass all of your classes, you wind up spending a lot of time on your school work. Then, what little time you have left you spend on your own hobbies and extracurricular activities, and, heck, some people even have social lives.

That's what I think college is really about, besides teaching a few general fundamentals that will help you in the field you choose to study. It's about knowing when and how much time should be spent on one thing over another, when you can skim instead of actually read, when to take notes. You learn a balancing act between commitments and mandatory assignments, and schoolwork versus other hobbies and work that might feel far more important.

So I'll shave an hour of sleep off my schedule sometimes in order to pick up that book I bought from Barnes & Noble. I'll get up an hour earlier just to plan out this next scene. Or I'll do more homework on one night so that the next I have a longer, solid block of time that I have to just write.

Life is a little pull and push, take what you can get kind of scenario. Just because I have more school work than I know what to do with, it doesn't mean that I have to give up on the things that are equally as important to me, even more so.

Stay Crazy,


Thoughts or Questions? Let me know what you think!

No comments:

Post a Comment