Too Much or Just Enough?

by Tolu Taiwo

I have an enormous amount of homework, and I’m kind of overwhelmed.

Not overwhelmed in an “ungrateful to be here” way, and definitely not overwhelmed in a “MOM. COME TAKE ME HOME” sort of way. It helps that I love what I’m studying, and I’m soaking up everything in my weird, nerd-like excited way. This is the most engaged I’ve been with schoolwork since my Race and Ethnic Politics class my first semester senior year. This is also the most schoolwork I’ve had in a while.

So I’m doing the coffee shop thing, the school planner thing, the studying from 10 a.m. to midnight thing. The overachiever in me wants to do well—or at least keep afloat—so I am, as my good friend Whitley would say, “doing the most” right now. It’s grad school, right? I knew what I was getting into when I signed up. It’s time to put in the work hours.

But. Over the Labor Day weekend, I learned that no student can live on studying alone. As you have probably guessed by now, I am terrible at my work-life balance, but even I needed a break from looking at the Green Book and typing out outlines. So I went to a rivalry football game on Sunday and stayed in Denver for the majority of the day. On Monday, I pried myself away from Student Development Theory and went to a cohort BBQ for a bit. And I found that yes, I was still freaking out a little bit. But my head was clearer because I had taken a break. I had been out in the “real world,” I gave myself time to clear my head, and when I came back to my paper, I found that I didn’t lose my momentum; in fact, it picked up significantly.

Will I regret taking Sunday and a piece of Monday off to have fun? Perhaps. Only time (and the overall quality of my work) will tell. I will still never get this work-life balance thing down, and there will probably be weekends when I refuse to be separated from my books. But it’s good to remember that sometimes, you just need to step away from the paper, and go live your life, even if it’s just for an hour.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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