Radiating Sunshine: True Life: College

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

True Life: College

I was scanning twitter last night, catching up on past tweets when I came across this gem that defines college pretty well in my opinion. 

something on tumblr?
As an RA, we get educated on burn out… which, is basically when you sign up for so many things, try to do it all, realize you can't do it all, and then give up. I'm lucky to have a professional staff who work hard to make sure that if we are starting to feel overwhelmed they get us help so that we don't get to the point where we "end up crying in bed and decide to do nothing." As RAs, we actively make sure that we don't burn out, plus we are also watching to make sure our co-workers, friends, and residents are also not experiencing the phenomenon. 

However, when I came across this picture, I instantly realized that it holds some truth. The decagon featured definitely describes how I feel on a regular basis. Now, of course I don't lay in my bed and cry when I realize that I can't balance all of my responsibilities… but, that's why time management is so crucial. I'm the type of person who thrives on a busy life. My perfect day would be a day that I spent working, helping others, possibly going for a run, and going to different meetings. I like when I have long to do lists and I like to check off items on those to do lists. 

At some points I do get overwhelmed. I realize that I can't maintain good grades, work, volunteer, do homework, talk to my family, read/maintain this blog, connect with friends, eat healthy, exercise, and sleep 8 hours all at the same time. Sure, I can balance it all pretty well when my workload is down or I don't have a lot of RA related activities during the week, but on a week when I've got a lot on my plate I usually cut out a few hours of sleep, add more caffeine into my diet, and stop exercising. Three things that are so harmful to my health. 

But, what can you do? The decagon CONSTANTLY needs to be balanced and you better balance it or burn out will take hold of you. 

But, how do you balance the decagon? 
- Well, for starters I like to write things down. If I don't write my to do list down… chances are some things will get lost in the hustle and bustle. 
- I also like to plan ahead. If I know next week is going to be insanely busy then I'm gonna do my laundry this week, instead of waiting. If I know I'm gonna have two huge reading assignments the upcoming week, then I'm gonna schedule out enough time for me to actually read them… instead of waiting until the night before. 
- Don't over schedule yourself… I honestly can't tell you guys how many times I'll be writing out my agenda for the upcoming week and I realize that I have two meetings at 10am on Wednesday. I then have to go through the hurried process of switching around my schedule to make up for my double booking myself. Not only does this cause unnecessary stress, but it also makes me jump through hoops just to make sure I don't make anyone unhappy when I need to reschedule. 
- And finally, say no sometimes. I'm a firm believer that when you commit to something you should give it your all and well when the decagon is in full force, it can be nearly impossible to give everything 150%. So, be selective and choose which items/activities are the most important and prioritize that way. 

So, yes the decagon will still run your life and yes, it will be awful at times. 
But, don't let burn out become a phenomenon in your life. 

4 comments:

  1. I didn't know you were an RA! That is one thing I really wish I had done in college. :) And you are so right, it's so much more of a juggling trick than people realize. <3

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    1. Jane, yes ma'am! Livin the RA dream. And you can live vicariously through my posts :) Thanks for the comment.

      - Alex @ Radiating Sunshine

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  2. Writing things down is super helpful! I totally over schedule myself and I get burnt out and scared and just give up and watch netflix and avoid all of it. Glad you took the time to write about this, things like this are important to recognize.

    xo. Kailagh

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    1. Kailagh, thanks for the comment! I turn to netflix a lot of the time too. School work and juggling the decagon can be exhausting. But, we're all struggling together ;)

      - Alex @ Radiating Sunshine

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