It was one of those weeks. I am sure you all have noticed, October is that month where everything starts to happen! Tests, papers, and the potential threat of Ebola all are coming at you at once. This past week in particular for me was pretty tough. Between an exam, papers, and work I was feeling pretty stretched out. When I was a freshman, the concept of time management was something that hounded at me consistently from all directions and I took it to heart. However, I'll admit as a senior and a busy body, its still a concept that's hard for me to grasp.
Like many involved students it's not so simple to just tell us to have time management (I can only take so many stories about rocks and pebbles...). It's a disease, no not like Ebola, but rather the "The happiness of pursuit." For my peers and myself, we don't over involve ourselves because we want the accolades. We get over involved because we love too many things and want a taste of everything we can get our hands on. Students simply love the challenge of a challenge. I admit I suffer from this disease. This semester I am embarking on the journey of having 3 jobs, 16 hours of school, a couple of clubs, and not to mention the experience of college' itself. It can be a little hectic, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a very common problem for the involved college student. With the exposure of so many different interests and adventures it's easy to get consumed in the mess of the university life.
So what does one do when you get caught up in the "Happiness of Pursuit" and you're feeling the world around you is about to fall a part. From the wisdom of a senior, I have a few suggestions.
First, you have to know your priorities. One professor on the faculty panel at this year's Gone to CS (an introductory celebration for first semester UTCS students) put the meaning of college beautifully when responding to a question, "You are here to learn." It's easy to get involved in clubs, internships, research, and personal affairs but when in doubt of your current state remind yourself you are here to learn, and that should be your number one goal.
Furthermore, it's important to realize that it's the challenge that produces the reward. It's going to get tough through the semester whether in the midst of the subject material from classes or the balance of tasks and assignments, college will give you some headaches. My fellow blogger Rohan Ramchand's graphic in his story "Why you Shouldn't Fear the Liberal Arts" puts it the best, you have to get out of your comfort zone to see where the magic happens. That is precisely the happiness we get from the pursuit and fatigue of college.
Finally, always remember you're not alone. Everyone has their personal battles in college, and we're all trying to do our best. You may not think about it, but here at UT everyone is on a path and every path has speed bumps. Luckily at UT, if you're feeling like you need another ear there are a plethora of resources including your UTCS advisors, professors, and the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center at your disposal.
I've had my fair share of hectic moments here at this fine institution of higher education, but I've really come to realize that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. We cannot forget the motto of our great university "a cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy" and whether its stress from tests or other pursuits, the crises we go through are what cultivate our minds and makes us better students, citizens, and Longhorns.