College Journey is a twice-monthly posting series (the last two Thursdays of every month) where I talk about both my experience and advice I've collected along the way. I go to a small liberal arts college in the middle of Nowhere, IL, and while I enjoy the campus and the company the wider community is much different than what I'm use to. If you ever have a question, check out my college journey tab, where I've collected all past posts, or shoot me an email (tsundokublog(at)gmail(dot).com) and I'll respond as soon as I can.
This post is two pronged. I mean a lot with the title. I mean it, first, in a literal manner, and, more importantly, in a figurative way. Music is a super big help in my life- it keeps me going, motivates me, connects with me, inspires me, and picks me up when I'm down and nothing else can do it. It takes no energy to listen to music and I'll often fall asleep and wake up to it stuck in my head. It's a soundtrack for your soul, and it's important you find some you like to keep you going through life, if it does have that sort of effect on you.
More importantly: you need to find your own internal rhythm. You can't base your days off of what everyone around you is doing because you can't sacrifice your goals and your time to someone else's, at least not all the time. There are always exceptions, but it's a bad idea to try and spend every waking minute following someone else's schedule when it doesn't work for you. Maybe you don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm guessing you do. In it's essence, what I'm saying is don't bend over backwards for someone or something when you can't straighten up afterwards.
Recently I've had stress issues and I think those stem, at least in some part, from trying to fit the things I need to do into other people's schedules and them trying to fit what they need to do into mine, making everything stressful in the end and tempers and emotions run high. So I took a step back and recollected my thoughts and what I needed to do to help calm things down and here's what I've come back with:
Classes come first. That's it. That's the reason you're in college isn't? It's so you can learn and use that knowledge in your life in some way, whether it's career-wise or not, you have an end goal in mind and classes are probably what gets you there. Don't let someone else get in the way of them and make sure to take time before and after each class so that you're not rushing around from one to another.
Do homework alone, or at least part of it. I like doing homework in an environment conductive to getting stuff done, and sometimes that means with a bunch of my friends in the library as we all work diligently and sometimes that means secluding myself in my room. Even when they're all out in the common room having fun and doing things. This tags onto the mantra that classes come first- because homework and studying are the key to your classes.
Eat on your time. Meals are one of the few social times I always have assured but they've also been problematic lately. I try to make sure I have my homework done at specific times so I can eat with specific people but that's been getting in the way of, you guessed it, homework. And homework is the key to classes. And classes come first! See where this is going?
Actually know when you're going to hang out with people. By this I mean, you know you're going to want to have fun Friday nights through Sunday evening, and while that won't really work out, you do know the times of the day and the week when you're going to be willing and more wanting to hang out with friends. You're going to want to go on adventures and play board games and just exist in the same space in a non-toxic way. Which means you have to be able to schedule your homework and other priorities around this time so that you don't feel like you're missing out on something important.
Take the time for yourself and don't feel guilty. Pretty self-explanatory.
That's my best advice, and I'm going to try my own darnedest to keep up on it as well. Good luck to us all!