It’s about time

September 26, 2017

Well, it’s official: the school year is only four weeks old, and I’m already behind.

Books that I forgot to read, papers that I should have written last week and presentations that I needed to start a month ago fill my backpack, waiting. 

I blame a combination of being too busy, having extremely poor time management skills and retaining little to no organizational system.

Still, I’m confident that I’ll fulfill all of those obligations. I always do, even if sometimes I have to stay up until 3 a.m. because I spent far too much time taking useless BuzzFeed quizzes.

In my defense, how could I focus without knowing which color flannel I should wear first this fall based on my opinions of unpopular Halloween candies—even if I do own only one flannel.

My sorry attempts at staying organized and managing time aren't for lack of trying.

When I was having the same issue last semester, I made a special trip to Target and paid too much for a planner to help me stay on track.

I recorded everything: all my school assignments, when I worked, when I had to be in the Independent Collegian office, any plans I made with family and friends, all of it. Everything had a place, a due date, a time to be completed.

I swore that I would never revert to my old ways.

That lasted a week tops. Most of the time, I scribbled down what I could when I remembered and relied on my brain to take care of the rest.

Additionally, instead of spending most of my free time studying and writing papers, I perused various social media platforms, endlessly switching between Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

I know I was only avoiding the inevitable, but mindless scrolling seemed preferable to coming up with original thesis statements and committing new Spanish vocabulary to memory.

Every day, I told myself that those could wait until tomorrow. Muy estúpida, no?

I’m shocked that I maintained good grades and never missed an assignment.

By May, however, my brain felt ready to explode. I was desperate for the year to end, and stress consumed me. Nonetheless, I figured that if I could make it through, I’d have a fresh start come August. I vowed to be better. Again.

But, I’m the worst.      

During the second week of classes this semester, I left my planner completely blank.

I can’t even claim writer’s block, as I often do when I can’t (read: won’t) find the right words and phrases while writing. I knew what I had to write down; my professors explicitly explained what I was to do. I chose not to keep track.          

Somehow, I survived that week. I just kept telling myself that if I could tread water until Friday, I’d be OK. I say that every week.

In the week that followed, I did improve though not by much. I jotted down assignments and due dates, but I still composed a six-page paper due on Tuesday afternoon on Monday night (and early Tuesday morning).

Baby steps.

As the semester passes by, I do think that I’m making progress, albeit slowly. Even so, enhancing my time management and organizational skills incrementally can only work in my favor.

If I’m ahead, I can waste as much time as I want watching “Dancing with the Stars” and pretending I moonlight as a ballroom dance judge without the thought of forgotten and overdue schoolwork stressing me out.

I guess it’s about time I pick up that book and work on that paper and start that project, isn’t it?



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