Time Management for A Successful Student

When I got to college, they gave us a sheet telling us how we can party and succeed academically based off a time management formula.

There are 168 hours in a week.
Let’s say, optimistically, everyone gets 8 hours of sleep every night. That leaves you with 112 hours.
For the best success, you should study 3 hours for every credit you’re taking. Let’s say you’re taking 15 credits, so you should spend 45 hours a week outside of class doing school work. Plus the time you’re actually in class, that leaves you with 52 hours.
Then let’s say you spend an hour a day in the bathroom. 45 hours left.
Maybe you take 2 hours to eat every day. 31 hours left.
That’s 31 hours of free time you can use to join clubs, party, work out, go to games, anything while still being a healthy and responsible student.

Luckily I am taking 15 credits, so I didn’t have to alter their formula.

31 hours. Now let’s see what I can do with that.

I cry, and feel horribly depressed every single day. Not a day has gone by since I’ve gotten here that I haven’t laid in my bed paralyzed thinking about killing myself. I feel weak and pitiful with splitting migraines, and I can’t think of anything besides slicing my own neck. Let’s say I do this for an average of 2 hours a day. 17 hours left.

I spend an hour talking to my family every day so that my parents don’t have heart attacks worrying that I’ve gotten myself hurt somehow by walking around at night or getting hit by a car. 10 hours left.

On Mondays it takes me 1 hour total to walk to and from my classes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, 50 minutes. On Wednesdays, 30 minutes. 7 hours and 40 minutes left.

This has always been how I am, but I take about half an hour getting ready in the morning. 4 hours and 10 minutes left.

Because of my eczema, I have to spend 20 minutes every day taking care of my skin (putting lotions, medicines etc.) 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Wow look at that. A whole hour and 50 minutes of free time all to myself every week, lucky me. I can watch half of Titanic in that time, what fun.

No, college has not been easy for me.

To keep myself from killing myself, I’ve been trying to absorb myself in exercise. That’s 1 hour everyday, so now I’m left with -6 hours and 50 minutes. Kendo is 2 hours 3 times a week, so make that -9 hours and 50 minutes.

Balancing school work, trying to keep my family from dying of broken hearts, trying to keep myself from dying in general. This is hard work.

I’ll talk about why I’m struggling to stay alive in another post at some point maybe. These are supposed to be the best 4 years of my life. Maybe I’m not doing this right.

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“Depression is when you don’t really care about anything. Anxiety is when you care too much about everything and having both is just like… Having both is staying in bed because you don’t want to go to school and then panicking because you don’t want to fail. Having both is wanting to go see your friends so you don’t lose them all, then staying home in bed because you don’t want to make the effort. Having both is insanely hard and sucks to deal with.” Source

 

Well, I have both.

Last night I went to sleep feeling like shit. This morning, I woke up feeling like shit.

Last night I felt like shit because I was insanely homesick. My family came for the day to visit, and I felt sick afterwards. I woke up in the morning feeling literally sick. I had the worst headache. It was like an emotion-induced hangover. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to go to breakfast with friends. I didn’t want to go to class. I was coughing and sneezing and I had a stomachache. It was horrible.

But I wanted to get up. I wanted to see my friends. And I wanted to go to class. And I did all of those, but it didn’t feel like I did. There was a buzzing in my head the entire time, and it was like I was still sleeping but I wasn’t. I was half-convinced I was dreaming for a portion of the day, but I wasn’t. It was like I was walking in a dream. It was like I was in a coma. I was unresponsive, and when I did talk it only made my head hurt. Going to class wasn’t okay either. I felt like I couldn’t see a thing, and whenever I wanted to answer I question there was this horrible pain in the back of my head. It felt like I knew the answer but there was a physical wall blocking it from coming to the front of my mind.

After all my daily obligations were through, I went back to my room and climbed in bed. I didn’t do homework, I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat or draw, and I’m not entirely sure if I was thinking coherent thoughts. That state lasted roughly 4 hours. When I was “conscious”, I noticed my roommate was sitting on her desk watching Supernatural on her laptop. I didn’t even notice her come in.

Now it’s 10:30pm and I haven’t done a thing. It feels like I haven’t done a thing all day. And I feel horrible about it. When I read the quote I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I was surprised how accurate it was. I want to do something but I can’t, and I don’t even know why. It feels like there’s something compressing my brain, and there’s this horrible pounding. I want to read and I want to write and I want to draw and call someone and text people and message my friends and eat for God’s sake, but I can’t.

Before coming to college my mom had sent me all these articles with advice for college freshmen. One article said that it’s normal for college freshmen’s grades to drop because of temporary depression and homesickness. They’re still panicking about being thrown in a new environment, even if they don’t know it yet.

Depression + anxiety = coma

Together they cause a sickness that leaves the host physically able yet mentally vacant.

I’m going to do my homework. I’m going to sleep as soon as the words stop making sense and the world starts falling apart the way it always does.

Just Keep Swimming

I’ve been by myself at college for exactly one week.

I thought I’d be feeling much more tired and stressed and emotionally over-reactive than I actually am. I feel fine. It feels like any other day to me. When I first left I cried, but I thought I was going to be 100% perfectly okay.

Today, my parents took my brother and boyfriend to visit me. They were here from dusk to dawn. We went on a walk, we ate A LOT, we did some shopping, watched some Korean TV shows, and they were on their way.

To my surprise, I cried again after they left.

When they left the first time, I cried. I thought it was because I was scared of being alone, and scared of being without my family for the first time in my entire life. After making friends during this first week, I thought everything would be okay. I thought I was 100% again. I thought everything felt perfectly normal. I thought I just needed friends, and I found them.

But I guess I was wrong. Because despite my friends and knowing where my classes are and establishing a routine, I’m still not whole.

I wanted to believe I was 100%. I wanted to believe that I was strong enough and mature enough to be on my own. I wanted to think that I didn’t need my family to be strong. But I do.

I suppose this thought process stemmed from the fact that I’ve never been without my family. Ever. Not even for one whole day. I think before I left, I was kind of hardening myself to believe that I didn’t need them to be happy. I guess I thought that kind of thinking would help me adjust better.

But they came. And I was happy. And I felt the same pit of darkness inside of me when it was time for them to leave. And I felt that same bead of sadness drip down my cheek when all goodbye’s were said and done.

When they left the first time, I guess I thought I was finally out of the kiddy pool. I thought I was finally swimming in the ocean with all the other big fish. But really, I’ve been going back and forth. There are some times when I’m okay. When I don’t think of anything besides what’s in front of me. I’m swimming in the ocean without a care in the world, finding out that it’s a bigger world than I ever thought it could be. Then I’m alone, and I remember who I had to leave to go exploring. And when they’re there I will always rush to them and stay safe in my own little shallow end of the shore.

I guess I’m kind of like Nemo. I want to be adventurous, and I want to think that I don’t need anyone to be happy. I want to think that I don’t need anyone to be independent. But the truth is, I do. Just like Nemo needs his dad, I need my family. And my friends. And my boyfriend. And everyone else I left behind in N*VA. That doesn’t mean I need them all the time, but I do need them.

Unlike last week, my mom was in a hurry to leave. It’s true she forced my dad and brother to come today (my boyfriend volunteered hehe), but she knew that she probably shouldn’t have because I’m still learning how to get along without them.

It still doesn’t feel like I’m on my own. It still feels like I’m at some kind of college simulation camp and my parents will be back any minute now to take me home. It doesn’t feel like I’m a legal adult capable of making decisions on my own. It still feels like I have floaties on in the shallow end with my dad a foot away to catch my if I start to sink.

I’m wading toward the deeper end, but in my own time. No matter how far I go, the ones I love will always be there to pick me up when I need them.