I had other ideas in mind about what to write this week, but I couldn’t seem to get it together because I had so many things on my mind – school assignments, my own life, my cat (no, seriously), that I just thought why not write about how I’m dealing with all these issues instead.
Juggling isn’t a sport/game that I particularly like. Throwing balls into the air, trying to catch them in sync and somehow look cool doing it isn’t my cup of tea, so it’s no surprise that I have a certain distaste for juggling things in my life. But, we all have to deal with it.
Even if we don’t like the idea of juggling, we can still adopt the strategy these talented ball throwers use. That is, to be good at balancing several things at once. Why don’t I break it down and show you how I have learned to juggle my academic workload, which might inspire you to balance things as well.
The Four Aphorisms of Juggling:
1) To thine own self be true: Polonius was right own when he told Laertes this piece of advice (it’s from Hamlet –what else do you expect from an English Specialist?). Be cognizant of your own abilities. Jugglers don’t start with six balls at once, they start off with two or three and add more once they are good at what they have. I don’t add more things to my academic plate if I know I won’t be able to handle it. Also, I don’t plan to volunteer or go out with friends if I know I have too many things to do that same week. So, don’t take six courses if last semester you had four and that was too much. And, don’t party the weekend before a test unless you know you can make up for it without pulling the ghastly “all nighter.” Know yourself!
2) Hocus Focus: Focus on one thing at a time, but be aware that there is always something coming up quickly that you’ll need to deal with. I have three assignments this week, all due a day apart. I find working on one thing at a time allows me to focus rather than trying to multi-task and run the danger of spreading myself too thinly.
3) Tempus Fugit ain’t fun: Never underestimate how much time you have (tempus fugit, which is latin for “time flies,” really isn’t a concept for the faint of heart). Time is not my friend – I bow to her and envy her power to make things evaporate into temporal space. Thus, PLAN! Make your agenda your bible, Don’t leave things till the last minute, because before you know it you have two essays to do, a test, there’s a power outage and your roommate just broke up with her boyfriend so you have to comfort her (just to make your life more complicated).
4) Never give up: Its cheesy and true, and probably the most important. Just because you lose balance doesn’t mean you can’t get right back into things. Adopting a strategy doesn’t happen over night. It took me well into my degree to get into the habit of not procrastinating. The knowledge that I wanted to get good grades instilled the drive in me to have a good work ethic and keep trying no matter if I fell off my academic bicycle.
Remember, school and life are processes that don’t come easily. We don’t succeed unless we try. Adopt a strategy that works for you so you don’t fall into an endless pit of assignments, tests and who else knows what!