Work Hard, Play Hard — First Week of Senior Year

By the time you all will be reading this post, it will be Monday. I’ll be deeply immersed in my hectic, time-consuming work and school schedule, juggling part-time jobs, freelance work, class, and personal projects. I’ll be writing to-do lists, tackling emails, taking notes, and learning about communication law. I’ll be starting the next step of my acclimation back to school. It will be the first week in my new routine where I won’t be experiencing the shock and uncertainty that comes with changes.

Hopefully, it will be a little easier to swallow this week’s various tasks now that I have a better idea of what to expect.

Last week was difficult. I use that word loosely, because no one single task was overtly challenging. The thing that made the week hard was the sheer mass of commitment and time I had budget for my various obligations. By the end of Tuesday, I was already filled with a sense of dread that there would not be enough hours in a week to meet all the demands on my time. Thursday night came, and I was completely fried. I hadn’t even dealt with much along the lines of homework, although the heavy financial strain of start-of-school-year weighed heavily on my stress levels.

Long story short, my first four days of senior year really, really wore me out.

However, Friday was a blessing. You see, I purposely scheduled myself off from work on Friday, with only one class. Friday is my have-fun-or-play-catch-up day. This previous Friday, I did both. I found myself amazed at how much I had gotten done during the day, and it wasn’t even dark out yet. My weekend started at 1:10 p.m. on Friday afternoon. And it is that weekend that gives me hope for the rest of the year.

I unplugged this weekend. I was not worried about what social interactions I’d miss online. I wasn’t fretting over the fact that I did not have 3G on my phone and therefore could not watch Twitter. I wasn’t obsessively checking one of my four email addresses “just in case” something came up. I just enjoyed the weekend. I went out with my friends. I watched North Central College cream Olivet College in football. I caught up with college acquaintances, had friends visit from out of town, watched some movies, sang like no one was listening, and danced until my knees gave out (literally). (No…really. My knees did give out. While dancing. Talk about embarrassing…)

The weekend was plenty enough to catch up on the things I couldn’t tackle during the week, and still fit in enough fun to recover and reboot for another demanding week.

So, I’ve decided, this is my survival mechanism for this term, if not for the whole year. I work hard, when I have to. I do everything in my power to give my best when I am able to. However, in my down time, I will enjoy life to its fullest, whether that means putting on a dress to enjoy “girls’ night out” or staying in for a movie and some extra-butter popcorn. The stress may get to me now and then, but I now know that I can balance it all out. Despite feeling swamped and tired, I know that life is good.

So my question for you is this: how do you cope when life just hands you too much? When your schedule and obligations seem daunting, how do you get by? Is it a person, or a milestone, or a plan, or a goal? Do you abide by the same “work hard, play hard” mentality that I do? Please share!


2 thoughts on “Work Hard, Play Hard — First Week of Senior Year

  1. Hi Kelly,

    Been a month since your last post. So I guess school work is demanding a lot of your time.

    How do I deal with stress and overcommitment? My only suggestions are: 1. exercise, 2. delegate what you can, 3. really decide what is important, and do only that and dump the rest.

    Good luck!

    • Hi Steven,

      Senior year has definitely been a balancing act. Things have been busy, but by far more manageable than they were at the start of the year. Thanks for commenting and leaving good advice; much appreciated!

      – Kelly

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