This weekend flew by. I swear it was just Saturday morning, but I guess time flies when you have hundreds of pages of reading due for your history classes!
I am finally getting a routine going. I have found places to walk and run and eat and study and do Quizlet. Still, these routines are sometimes messed up by the fact that everything in college seems to have dumb hours. The convenience store near my dorm provides a great way to get lunch on the go (for me that means hummus and crackers and grapes–so mediterranean), but they don’t open until 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The smoothie place in Eppley doesn’t open until like 10am most days, and then the cash register lady takes a 90 minute lunch break from 12-1:30pm, which is the exact slot of time I have time to drink a smoothie. My solution, of course, has been walking 15-20mins to the off-campus Smoothie King. There are many pros to this plan: I get hella steps and have a much wider variety of vegan smoothies to choose from. Still, Smoothie King is more inconvenient and more expensive.
On a separate note, my professors have spoiled me by cancelling class or letting me out of class early these past few weeks. While this was obviously awesome, I am now upset when they keep me the whole 2/3 hours. I crave freedom. I want extra time to do my homework and readings, not extra time in class. Tuesdays are the most difficult. I have four classes, one of which is a lab, that add up to about 6.5 total hours of school. I start at 9:30am and am not off the clock until 6:20pm, and then I don’t get back to the dorm until 6:35pm. That gives me virtually no time to do homework before dinner, because, of course, I have to use a good chunk of those last 25 minutes unpacking my backpack and staging for the next day. Tuesdays are a mess and I am not excited that tomorrow is another Tuesday.
Ok, time for some life lessons:
Life Lesson #1: Humans are far less self-aware than we’d like to think
We, as humans, think we are very special and smart. And we are, in comparison to insects and jellyfish. But we are very dumb in many ways. If you were to ask someone for five adjectives that describe them, I am willing to bet that at least three of those adjectives are reaches.
This makes sense. Who wants to present their worst traits as integral to their identity? Nobody wants to be the guy that describes himself as “chauvinistic, sexist, lazy, lost, and emotionally stunted”. We all want to be the person who’s “intelligent, hard-working, brave, motivated, and kind”. But guess what? We can’t all be that person. We can’t all be Hermione Grangers and Elizabeth Bennetts. Someone has to be the dumb, lazy guy too.
I am talking to the people who advertise themselves as “clean and tidy” roommates and then leave trash and laundry in piles on the floor. I am talking to the people who lie about their race pace to get put in a higher corral to avoid the balloon ladies. I am talking to every high-schooler who is describing themselves as “industrious and ambitious” on their college applications. All of these people are lying. They don’t really know they’re lying; they may really think they can run much faster or work much harder than they can. But I feel it would be beneficial to all of us to be more honest with ourselves about what we’re capable of. I’m not saying you should describe yourself with your five worst characterstics. I am saying we should present the positive ones that are realistic, and also include one or two accurate negative ones.
For me, that would mean:
Hard-working, insightful, creative, rigid, and a little uppity. And that’s fine. We can all do better in some ways. But you have to recognize your personal pitfalls before you can start addressing them.
Life Lesson #2: If you are in school, there is no such thing as “no homework”
All throughout high school and my three weeks at college, I have been pretty shocked when my peers exclaim their excitement at having “no homework”. At first, in sophomore year, I was kind of angry. Why did they get to have “no homework” so often and I had things to do every night?
I soon realized that what set me apart from my peers was that I counted “studying” as “homework”. Sure, I didn’t have a worksheet or paper due for a class, but that only gave me more time to make flashcards and go over notes. Studying as homework is what allowed me never to have to pull an all-nighter before a test; my peers took their free time every day after school and paid it back with the all-nighters. I studied every day after school and never had to panic. It’s a trade-off.
When I am witnessed having free time, however, my friends think I am being uncharacteristically lazy. For example, I try not to do homework after like 5:30 on Saturdays and Sundays to give myself some time to be a potato. My friends think this is me being lazy, when in reality it is me reaping the benefits of frontloading. On Saturdays and Sundays I literally work all day so I don’t have to work in the evenings. I’m not shirking my responsibilities because I pre-paid the work.
Because I spend a lot of time thinking about time and how people harness it differently, I like to think of this issue like this: We all more or less spend the same amount of time in class and on homework. We all more or less (for me, less) spend the same amount of time being potatoes. It’s how we organize that time, however, that really makes a difference.
Like always, I am not saying that my way is right. But I kind of am. Frontloading will always reign supreme over procrastination. Not sorry.
Thanks for reading! Have a good week, internet, and wish me luck in lab!