Prioritizing Isn’t Always Fun

Yesterday, I camped out at the campus cafe for a few hours, trying to wrangle my massive to-do list for the next few weeks into a cohesive, doable assortment of tasks that have been prioritized. It’s no small feat, considering the amount of projects I have going on for class and other obligations. I’m a fairly Type A person, a go-getter, a doer, an action-seeker, a mover-and-shaker. Sometimes, it feels much more natural to me to dive right in rather than step back and prioritize, but it’s a necessary part of time management, both in college and in the work place.

Prioritizing happens in more than just time and tasks. Sometimes you have to prioritize what matters to you, personally.

Like, weighing the necessity of material goods versus income and sentimental value. This never seemed so valid as it did yesterday, posting pictures of the beautiful dresses I have worn over the years for dances, pageants, parades, and weddings. I’m selling them. Every formal and semi-formal dress I have ever owned. In a moment of clarity, I realized that these beautiful gems can bring some other little girl joy that I will never reap from them again. I have the memories and lots of pictures of my thinner days in these gorgeous dresses. Why hang on to them sentiment when I can use some financial security, and help another girl experience that “dream dress” feeling that I had so many times? The dresses can be seen here, complete with negotiable starting prices and additional information.

I have never loved an article of clothing the way I love this dress. It's the fanciest thing I've ever owned. Some of my favorite memories happened in this dress. Maybe it can go on to make another little girl as happy as it's made me!

There are other priorities to consider as I “grow up” even more in these last few months of college. As I plan ahead for my big relocation to a-city-that-shall-not-be-disclosed-yet, my mother and I are considering what I will need to furnish an apartment, what I should procure before relocating, and what is worth spending time and money on now rather than waiting until I have stable and regular income.

I have to prioritize what I’m looking for in many big aspects of life, too. What do I want out of my career, my personal life, my living space, and my last few months of college?

College is easy to prioritize…at first glance. Obviously the first priority is graduation. The second priority is my sanity, which is barely attached by a thread these days. But what about enjoying my last few months with my college friends? My last opportunities to make weekend trips to my friends at other schools or cities in the region? Fun should be somewhere on the list, but I struggle with balancing the “fun” part with the “getting-everything-I-need-to-so-I-can-graduate-on-time” part. At this point, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to hit everything on my Leap List.

For instance…I NEED FARM TIME. I need open space, the smell of dirt, furry critters, a different atmosphere than what I’m immersed in here at school. There are a few farms within three hours of here that I’d love to visit, including those my friend Carrie Mess is involved in. There are even more within a ten-hour drive of here, including Ashley Messing‘s, Mike Haley‘s and Tim and Emily Zweber‘s, among others. There are even more friends who live off of farms that I’d love to visit…Tara Litzenburger, Amanda Sollman, Derek Mulhern, Drew Bender, to name a few. I could, potentially, hop on the road and spend a long and exhausting (but good) weekend traveling to see any of them. Freshman, sophomore, maybe even junior year, I would have without second thought. Now…the crunch is on. I need to graduate. I need to get out of college, because college and I do not get along.

I’ve also been thinking about prioritizing my morals, beliefs, and what means most to me, as an individual and member of the human community. I’m re-evaluating where many, many things fall in the hierarchy of my life. And that reflection, that prioritizing, has helped me get a more solid feel for where I am and who I want to be.



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