What I learned from my busiest semester ever

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I could easily describe my life as a cycle of constantly facing the consequences of my progressive episodes. 

However, this semester, I truly outdid myself. Spring 2022 was by far the busiest semester I have ever had, and I learned a lot from it. So, in light of classes almost being over, I want to reflect on my semester and talk about what it gave and what it took. 

The good things

With a busy schedule, often starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m., I became better at managing my time. Instead of waiting until the last minute to finish any assignments, I often did them the day before, or even the weekend before (however, there were still some assignments that slipped through the cracks). Although it may seem small, this was a big adjustment for me, being one of the biggest procrastinators I know. 

Second, I quickly adopted a “now or never” mindset. This can easily be explained in doing small or large tasks pretty immediately instead of wasting time thinking about doing them. Ultimately, this led to me taking advantage of numerous opportunities I was offered in the moment, rather than later.

Finally, the biggest thing I learned this semester was to truly value relationships, especially the relationships with myself and the new people I met through my extracurriculars. With a busy schedule, it can be extremely easy to get lost in assignments, work shifts or even club events, so I valued every moment I got to spend with my friends so much more than I would have with a free schedule and valued my alone time just as much. 

The bad

Although I did learn a lot and meet some amazing people, I can’t help but also talk about what this semester took from me. This semester was difficult — it weighed on my mind, body and everyday attitude. Some days were hard and sometimes, it felt like there never was a break. 

The biggest thing I believe this semester took from me was my time with others and time I dedicated to my hobbies. Yes, I valued the time I spent with others; however, this time was rare. This left me feeling like a bad friend for having to cancel on friends, or for not checking in with my friends every few weeks. All of the activities I used to value as a hobby felt more like a chore. Instead of enjoying my morning walk, I often found myself rushing in fear I would be late. I would spend time I usually would dedicate to reading, writing or watching movies to catching up on homework or worrying about catching up on homework. 

Ultimately, I learned a lot from this semester, and I feel like it has made me a better student. However, would I ever do this again? No. Reflecting back on my busiest semester, it all feels like a blur of assignments, late work shifts and endless coffee, and I feel like I should have taken more time enjoying my semester, rather than focusing on assignments or work. 

So, for all of you who often find yourselves constantly facing the consequences of your own progressive episodes, my advice to you is to take it easier. You can still work hard and enjoy your life, and I advise it.

Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].