It Is Day 13 of Taking 19 Credits. I Am Still Alive But Barely Breathing.

12 hours is the minimum number of credit hours are needed to be a full-time student at VCU. Most universities recommend 15 credit hours per semester. I am exceedingly ambitious and enrolled in 19 credit hours. 

As a double major in the Honors College and the School of the Arts, I need to hustle to graduate on time. I initially signed up for 15 hours of straight classes, not too shabby. Then, I was cast in VCU's main stage of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as Helena. Being cast in a production of this size at VCU is counted for three credits. This production rehearses every day of the week except Sunday and will be traveling beginning at the top of October, performing at local locations.  On top of that, I was given the opportunity to take voice lessons for a singular credit towards my degree. Obviously, I jumped on the opportunity. 

I am so grateful for my ability to go to school for something, two things that I love and to be able to take a buttload of classes. However, this is a lot. I am sure I am not the only one that returned to school to find themselves inundated in the bath they drew for themselves.

To combat this impending stress that hangs around like unwanted condensation on a thin pane of glass, I am trying to focus on a few things:

1. Being present where I am

2. Actually using my planner

3. Meal prep 

4. Morning routine 

The first one is my biggest goal this semester. Since I lack time to do everything I want to and even need to, I have had to budget my time accordingly. It is tempting when I am in my computer lab for statistics to be memorizing my lines for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." It is tempting to be typing my Voice and Speech journal into blackboard while I am in rehearsal. It is tempting to run through my schedule while I am sitting at the dinner table with my friends. However, none of that is a good use of my time because I am only half-committing to where I am. I am going to put my phone down, keep my head up and on straight, and be present where I am. By being fully attentive, I will make the utmost out of the time that I set aside. 

I used to get the Lily Pulitzer planner in high school and color code it for different classes with special pens and wasabi tape. By senior year, I used my planner to play MASH on the empty pages at the end of the year as the clock ticked, from after AP tests to real end of the year to graduation.  I need to find a balance between these two, not going Michael's-Mom-Mad with the crazy crafts but also not neglecting the tools I have. 

With a packed schedule, it is essential that I make time to eat or else it won't happen. Meal prep on Sunday's helps with this because I can pack my lunch or grab something out of the fridge.

A morning routine helps establish each day and begin them a blank slate. Now, I don't mean to make every day the exact same, that is a trap. However, getting up each morning at the same time, going to the gym, showering, drinking tea and reading sets me up to be successful each day. By the time I get to class, I already have nearly conquered my step goal, read thirty more pages of my latest memoir and have helped my metabolism with green tea. By putting similarity and structure in my mornings, I feel well supported for my day.

So yes, I was a little confident in my abilities when I booked myself. I am not going to lose that confidence now that the challenges have shown their faces. Please do the same. 


Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3