Art by Kaley
Balancing can be hard, just ask Emma Stone. But even more difficult than a laundry basket and books? Balancing your schedule. Trust me, I know. I’m currently coming off of a three week stint in which I collapsed into my bed every night hoping my dreams wouldn’t involve class or rehearsal or one of the five meetings I’d had that day. Regardless of why you’re super busy, there are some things you can do to help you keep your sanity through the darkest and longest of days. (Seriously, why does each day of Winter Quarter seem like a week in itself? Is this some sort of weird Seasonal Affective Disorder?) This list might not be the same for everyone, but the premise is the same, a tried-and-true cliché: sometimes it’s the little things that keep you from screaming in random people’s faces.
• Crunchy Cheetos
Okay, so really, any salty snack that you can never get enough of works well here. For me, that’s crunchy Cheetos. I actually wouldn’t recommend them because they’ll get all over your work/mousepad if you’re eating them during an all-nighter, but sometimes a girl’s gotta eat what a girl’s gotta eat to stay awake.
• Stop Cleaning Your Room
After reading this one, you’ve probably either nodded conspiratorially or rolled your eyes because you’re a neat-freak. To the latter, I don’t understand you. At all. Because as much as I prefer my room to be clean and usually attempt to keep it at least 75% of the way there at all times, sometimes it just needs to be completely erased from the priority list. I mean it, if your bed is clear and you have access to your closet, that’s really all you need. If I tried to take time out of my schedule when I was busy over the past few weeks to clean my room, it would have just made me crazier. So seriously. Stop. Cleaning. Your. Room. It’s okay. You’re a grown-ass human and you can do what you want. To any high schoolers reading this, I’m sorry. This may not apply to you. It sucks. Speaking of which, I hope my mom isn’t reading this.
• Unwind Before Bed
SLEEP IS SO IMPORTANT, PLEASE GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I strongly urge you to consider carving into your sleep time, ever so slightly, in order to wind down after a particularly long and/or stressful day. Personally, it sometimes takes me longer to fall asleep if I’m still in productivity mode, so bringing my laptop into bed with me to catch up on an episode of TV I might have missed from the week before (or more often than not, for me at least, from the month before) or to watch a few episodes of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Find a show that’s not too heavy dramatically or too long (a half hour show works best) and save them for when you need a little break from the insanity that is your crazy schedule. I recommend New Girl, Raising Hope, or The Mindy Project; each episode is light but also satisfying, and they usually won’t end on such a suspenseful note that you’ll feel the urge to stay up and watch the rest of the season in one go.
I use both of these apps on my computer, and honestly, I have yet to find a system that keeps me more organized. That being said, everyone else thinks I’m crazy for how many stickies I always have open. But it’s all about what works for you! The app lets you open and close them, so you can close notes you write to yourself that aren’t particularly important, while keeping open things like your To-Do list, or your list of article ideas for the online magazine you work for, or your list of TV shows to watch, because we all know that’s the most important of all. Whatever you choose to help you remember when to go to class and when to meet your friend for coffee and when to call your parents, just remember that even if you don’t put it on your calendar, there’s always time in your schedule to keep yourself sane. And of course, to read inconnu.