Monday, March 28, 2011

What I've Learned in the Past 4 Years

I don't anticipate to jot down every single thing that I've learned since I've been at college. That would take way too much time, and some of the things are too personal to post for everyone to see. However, there is one thing I have come to discover about myself that did not solidify until the past 3 months. I would not have come to realize it if it weren't for the previous 3 1/2 years, so this discovery is all inclusive of the past 4 years.

I feel that most college students (that want to be the best in their field) approach college life as a jumping block. There is no time to cook healthy meals, exercise, sleep enough, or do things that make us happy. We must work, work, work, and not stop until Christmas break. I was one of those people...for a long time. What I've come to realize is that this particular lifestyle, in college or not, is not as productive as one might think.

There is a spectrum of efficiency that I came up with. Pardon my paint example.

 I don't know if you can see it all that well, but on one side there is laziness, the other side there is insanity, and in the middle is just right, like Baby Bear's Porridge.

When you get too close to the right side of the spectrum for too long, bad things happen. Your body gives out on you, you get sick, and you have to miss class because you have the swine flu. You start to hate life, and re-think your major when you might not need to. (Now, sometimes people really do need to change their majors for other reasons. I'm talking about something different.) You start to re-think priorities and you just want to throw in the towel. You spread yourself so thin that you begin to not like how you look or feel, and you start to see the negative in everything. You don't believe in yourself because of how you feel, and because of this, your performance isn't quite up to par. You just want the next few weeks to be over. Then you just want the next few months to be over. Then pretty soon that turns into you wanting the next few years to be over. Look at yourself! You want your life to be over! Who wants to live like that?

The only way that I have found to get to that middle ground is to first, remember what's most important.

Next, don't forget to make friends a priority. Social health is a good thing.

Always remember to sleep enough!!! You will be able to accomplish so much more at a time if you do!

Eat healthy and exercise! Your body is what is enabling you to do the things you do. Don't abuse it!

You might say, "Well there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all of those things." Maybe not, but there can be. The key is to not bite off more than you can chew. You CAN do anything and everything. Just not all at once. Spread out your schedule. It's OK if that one project, that competition, that goal, graduation, or anything else doesn't happen this instant. By the time you are in college, you should know what you are and are not capable of handling all at once. Let me encourage you, all you ambitious students and workers out there, that when you sign up for your hours at school or work, keep in mind that you won't be able to be 100% happy unless you remember your body and your relationships. There might be periods of time (a semester, a week or two, the few weeks before your wedding) that gets crazy busy, and there is no way to get out of it. I agree that this is inevitable sometimes. But your whole life doesn't have to be like that.

If you remember these things, you will have the endurance and stamina to keep going. I thought I hated school. I thought I hated the flute. Now I've come to realize that I don't hate these things. I was just biting off more than I could chew. I'm able to accomplish just as many things, and I'm happy while I'm doing it! Bring it on, graduate school!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cabin Fever

Do you remember in Pride and Prejudice how Lydia was so excited/determined to go to Brighton? That's how I feel when I look out the window on days like this.

Its so sunny and beautiful outside...not the kind of day to be indoors grading physical science papers or practicing or writing a presentation for Chamber Music Literature.

Summer is my absolute favorite season. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I hate dark, rainy days. So that leaves me only one scenario where I'm happy with the weather. I know that my attitude might be lacking a bit, and that I could be so much happier if I just changed my perspective. And I do try. But then I am teased with a gorgeous day of 64 degrees with not a cloud in the sky, only to hate the days that might be snowy/rainy later. It just doens't get better than this!

Most of my friends right now are on their spring breaks. OK can I call out some injustice here? Spring Break? I haven't had one of those since high school. I know, I know. I'm lucky to be in college and not have little babies crawling and barfing all over me, and I am so fortunate as to have found my best friend here at BYU who found it ideal to ask me to marry him. I know that this time will pass and I'm gonna miss it. I know what they say. And I know it's probably true. But right now all I can think of is being free and lying on a sandy warm beach with friends and family, drinking virgin pina coladas and listening to some Mexican music that I don't understand. I want to put on my coconut bra and hulu skirt. OK, I don't really have those, but you get the idea.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I just feel like bein' lazy

Sometimes I'm so pumped on a Sunday afternoon about my upcoming week that I take a piece of paper, draw out a week calendar, and write out every single hour of every day. Yep, the whole 24 hours. Then I write down exactly what I will do in each hour. This process takes about 35 minutes. Monday comes along, and I look at my caldendar, all happy with myself. I'm obedient to what I promised, and I don't miss a single thing on my list. I even write down which hours I'm going to sleep. I know, I'm psycho.

What happens next is that my eyes won't close at 8:30pm like I wrote down they would. I can't fall asleep until 10:30, and I waste 2 precious sleeping hours. Rats!

I wake up the next morning, look at my list, and say FORGET IT! I'm doing what I want, WHEN I want. I then go throughout the rest of the week in rebellion of my restricting and unforgiving schedule. I throw away the list and walk slowly from class to class, smiling at the sun and smelling the roses.

Come Friday, I'm pulling my hair out and wishing I would have been a little more obedient to my calendar. But Friday is play time. Friday is relax-after-school-day. Friday is rent-a-movie-and-cuddle-with-your-sweetie evening. Somehow I can't bring myself to be a slave to work on Friday, because soon I'll be on a three-week long tour without my husband on the other side of the world, and I'm sort of dreading being away from my personal bodyguard and my best friend. So on Fridays I soak up all the time that Matt can spare to be away from his law studies and I enjoy every moment of it.

Why does it feel like when I'm 100% productive 100% of the time, I feel like crap? When I'm 50% productive 100% of the time, I still feel like crap. But when I'm 100% productive 50-70% of the time, that's when life is wonderful. I'm trying to find that balance. I'll get there one day...maybe.