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The Stages of Overloading as Told by Parks and Recreation

Stage 1:  Deciding to take 20 credits and saying, “This will be perfectly doable.”


“Guys, I clearly know what I’m doing. I want to do this. I don’t need permission, not even from my advisor.”


Stage 2: People telling you that it’s a bad idea.

If only you would have listened to this sage advice. Instead, you pretend as you can whole-ass all of the things. 


Stage 3 – The first three weeks of classes go perfectly well and you say, “See, I knew I could handle it.”

Even though you are beginning to doubt that you can, you are still optimistic about this semester. 


Stage 4 – You start writing assignments in your calendar and realize how much work you have.



Stage 5 – Panic mode sets in.

Like Andy, you realize you don’t know what you are doing. Unlike Andy, you are not doing it really well.


Stage 6 – You start asking, “When is the semester done?” 

If only you could already be done with the semester. If only you could add a few more hours into the day. If only you could go back to your past-semester self and make them take other people’s advice. 


Stage 7 – You give up on being a put together human being. 

You settle for showering and clean clothes. Hopefully you remember to grab snacks. If not, hopefully caffeine will be enough to sustain you. 


Stage 8 – You realize  that your life is school this semester. 

So much for seeing your friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll have friends in classes. If not, good luck seeing people outside of mandatory events. 


Stage 9 – Can’t decide whether to laugh/cry when people tell you that overloading isn’t that hard.

“But you’re just a humanities major, how hard could your multiple essay-requiring classes really be?”


Stage 10 – Accept the reality of academic death.


Stage 11 – Pray for finals. 

You’ll get through it. Even if there are a lot of crying faces like Ann’s, you’ll make it. 

Jordan is a sophomore from Ohio, majoring in Gender, Sexality, and Women's Studies, hoping to eventually figure out a career path other than "Professional Napper." On campus, she is part of Ballet Performance Group, College Feminists, and Gamma Phi Beta. She enjoys dancing, buying obscene amounts of lipstick, reading all the books, eating chocolate and other sugary things, quoting Parks and Recreation, and dreaming of the day that she can adopt slightly concerning numbers of dogs. 
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