Bryn Mawr has taught me to prioritize. Well, at least it is teaching me to prioritize (still trying to get a hang of it, you know. It's not as easy as it sounds!) It is teaching me to take a step back and look at all that I have to do and choose what is most important and what will make me happiest. But balancing all of those factors is tricky and requires much flexibility along with adaptability. You have to be open-minded. You have to be cautious. You have to be spontaneous! You have to be able to weigh out your options and know your why, because your why will tell you which is the best choice. There is no right answer, but there is a best answer, which will vary depending on what you are looking to accomplish in that situation. That is why the why is so crucial to this formula.
A simple example is the following: say, it's 12am and you are really tired but you still have to finish up some reading for your 10am class the following day. You're anxious to finish up your work, because you just can't seem to sleep well when you have things hanging. What's the best option? If you're so tired you can't function, then maybe it's best to sleep and wake up earlier and do the reading before class. But, if you're on a roll, then maybe it's best to not let that go to waste and finish fast and not in a perfected manner. Also, are you a night person? A morning person? How much do you have to grab breakfast in the morning? All of these factors come into play. Seems simple, I know. I can even see some rolling of the eyes here and there. But doing it? Much, much more difficult. Dah.
I still struggle with this concept. A lot. Constantly, actually. I want to be able to do everything with no consequences whatsoever to my health, my academics, and my personal relationships. I mean, really, is that so hard to ask? Sure, in an ideal world, you might say. Or, when I do try to cut something out of my schedule in order to make room for something else, I try so hard to find the best solution and spend so much time and energy thinking on what that might possibly be, while I scroll through all of the possibilities in my head, that I realize after that I'm exhausted from this task and that I haven't gotten anywhere and that no matter which option I choose, I will not have been efficient because I will have wasted so much energy to get there. So, needless to say, this is a work in progress.
But, there are moments of breakthrough, of enlightenment. This week I was able to find a balance between my academic responsibilities, sleep, eating, and relaxing down-time. The key I think also involves not wanting to do everything perfectly, which I know is hard for some of us (aham aham). But it's surprising to see how much you can get done when you tone down the expectations. We're not looking to be sloppy, but rather work with what you got. For example, right now I am choosing to write a smaller post than usual because I have other pressing priorities for the day which I need to get to. But, I also needed to write a post, so here I am. I took advantage of this subject, which was fresh on my mind from the happenings of this week (such as the fact that it's Hell Week and how that adds more "work" to your schedule, even if it does involve fun) and I am using it as inspiration to produce something, this artistic/therapeutic something which we call blogging.
So there you go, my loves (it's Valentine's Day). AH! Yes, happy universal chocolate day, before I forget, by the way. So yes, today, don't forget about your classes, but also don't forget about your sleep and your health, and your friends, and the fun around you (for those who are participating in this Bryn Mawr tradition) and most of all, don't forget about chocolate. Yum yum.