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Confessions of a Transfer Student: In Pursuit of Time Well Spent

December 30, 2011

What up, Huskies?

Here we are, stuck in the non-time between the holidays and the first of the year.  I don’t know what it is about the last week of December, but it always feels like “null” time to me, this odd stretch of days spent in preparation for the new year.  Weird.

Anyways, in honor of starting off 2012 and a new quarter, I thought it would be the right time (pun absolutely intended) to talk organization.  I don’t know about you, but Fall quarter was a doozy this year.  I’ve been looking forward to this break between classes to clear my head and catch my breath, and make sure that I’m adequately prepared for winter.  After all, a new term is a great time for a fresh start, yes?  I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, so here are a few organizational tips to get us moving in the right direction:

Set Reasonable Goals. Some people seem to earn straight A’s every quarter without a lot of effort.  I am not one of those people.  I’m often sweating it out over papers, and there’s a lot of teeth gnashing involved before every test and quiz I take.  While I can earn a 4.0, it’s much more reasonable and a lot easier on my sanity to try to earn, say, a 3.5 for the term.  Still a respectable GPA, and I’m not driving myself crazy in the process.  Set yourself a goal for this quarter, making sure it’s one you can reasonably hit— and then go for it.

Write It Down. I can’t live without my planner.  I have a terrible memory for dates and times, and if I ever lost my planner I’d probably collapse in the middle of Red Square and cry until someone brought me a new one.  I prefer mine to be paper; I haven’t quite caught the hang of the electronic revolution but, you know, to each their own.  Take some time to jot down your winter schedule, and make note of the upcoming holidays that UW observes (MLK, President’s Day, etc).  You can even go hog-wild and schedule out your time to study.  Imagine that.

Clean Your Room. It’s a fact.  Clutter is the antithesis to organization.  Worse yet, disheveled surroundings can tax your mental energy.  That’s right: your unmade bed is mentally exhausting you.  So take a few minutes (or hours) and straighten up your physical space.  Do the dishes, dust, fold and put away your laundry.  You’ll wind up feeling more energized and focused in your clean space.  You might even find that you like making your bed.  It happens.

Move It. Shake off that winter stagnation and spend some time at the IMA.  The facility is awesome, with four floors of equipment and awesome trainers at your fingertips.  Spend 30 minutes working the elliptical, running the indoor track, lapping the pool, or join a pickup basketball game.  Just do something to get your blood pumping, and you’ll feel ready to take on the world afterwards.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself. Every student has those things that they must do, which include anything and everything from working to volunteering to serving as an officer for your favorite RSO and even, yes, attending class. However, if you found yourself overwhelmed by your to-do list and floundering through Fall quarter, then now is the time to reevaluate.  Make a list of all the activities that you’ve committed to.  Mock up a typical week in your planner and see where your time actually goes.  If you’ve stretched yourself so thin that you’re missing out on important things like sleep, personal hygiene, or the ever-elusive “down time”, then find something you can cut out.  Your psyche will thank you.

Above all, remember to take a breath and take care of yourself.  New years and new starts are magical times where anything is possible.  Here’s to 2012, fellow Huskies, and all the amazing things we’re going to accomplish with it.

Now, if I can only find my planner…

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