Juggling 5 Jobs and 16 Units Amidst a Pandemic 

I spent an overwhelming majority of my spring and summer in bed. I woke up at noon, scrolled through TikTok for a couple of hours, cobbled together a two pm breakfast, promptly returned to bed, dragged myself downstairs to consume dinner, retreated back to my bed to mindlessly become one with my phone screen, and eventually blearily decided it was probably time to go to sleep around two am. It felt like my brain was legitimately rotting, but I had no motivation to change because it felt like nothing mattered. I had no one I could see, nowhere I could go, and nothing meaningful to do. 

When I made the decision to move back to Davis, I did a complete 180. I signed up for three clubs, accepted every job offer that came my way, signed up for sixteen units of upper-division classes, and made as many (safe) plans as possible. Filling my schedule to the brim was my way of attempting to make up for the shell of a life I felt I had lived for six months. As you might imagine, this sharp change in my lifestyle wasn’t exactly the healthiest decision I’ve ever made. At first, I felt on top of the world and the most productive I have ever been. I woke up at seven in the morning and was asleep by eleven pm, having worked five jobs that day. Once school started, I found myself feeling like I was juggling nineteen things at any given time. I’d attend class while cooking lunch, respond to discussion posts hiding in the bathroom at one of my six jobs, and catch up with friends on the phone while biking to the store. 

girl laying in bed feeling stressed out Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash Three weeks into the quarter, I realized I had completely forgotten to even start one of my asynchronous classes. When I found myself watching eight lecture videos in a single day in a desperate attempt to catch up, it hit me that in order to remain relatively sane I needed to straighten out my priorities, quickly. As someone who identifies as a people-pleaser, it’s ridiculously hard for me to let people down, but I have to remind myself that doing what’s best for me isn’t selfish; it’s necessary.

Monica Stressed Giphy So far, I’ve quit my least favorite jobs and narrowed down my clubs to just the ones that align most with my interests. I’m working to multitask in healthier ways by studying with my friends outside. I kept my jobs with food perks to limit the amount I have to go to the store and wait in the absurd Sunday afternoon Trader Joe’s lines. Moving forward into the latter half of the fall quarter, I want to take better care of myself. The juxtaposition of my summer compared to my fall taught me that I need to find a healthy balance between keeping myself busy enough to maintain a purpose and also giving myself time to breathe.