What I wouldn’t give for a day to sleep in and do nothing. That unfortunately, will not be a reality for me until at least the middle of August, and even then, the window is small. Starting my newest class, Global Automotive Marketing, I was excited. The topic is of interest to me and I enjoyed my first class with this professor. Two weeks in, I am still enjoying the class, but not the condensed time frame in which I have to complete the material. Having class two times per week means that I am responsible for 2-5 readings from which I need to pull thoughtful discussion points in addition to the knowledge base on which I will be tested on. In addition, there are multiple case studies within the coursework which require several hours worth of analysis, composition, and revisions. The first case is due next Monday, and as I will be spending the weekend at a campground, I began writing my case study this past weekend. In the past several days I have spent approximately 5-6 hours reading and evaluating the case and composing my answers to the five questions posed by my professor. As this is a grad class, the expectation is that students utilize class materials, professional experience, and outside knowledge sources to give a complete evaluation of the case. This is not a paper that can be completed in one 1 hour session. On top of my Global Marketing class, I have recently become aware of the large amount of work that is required prior to my weekend seminar that takes place in early August. Before August 1st I am required to complete two writing assignments, one of which is a partner project with another student, watch a 35 minute video, read “The Book on Writing,”and read 25 articles. Luckily, the first of the writing assignment is rather simple and I was able to complete my initial draft fairly quickly. I still need to reach out to my partner for the second writing assignment. Many of the articles are also short, but the issue of time remains. To add to the mix, I will be transitioning into a new job in the next few weeks. This means that I will be busy training my successors at mu current job and eventually adapting to a new position and new team. To say that the next few weeks will be a roller coaster is probably an understatement. In choosing to take on the weekend seminar, I may have underestimated the amount of work that would be required. I assumed that there would be some pre-work, but I also thought that the two weekends were going to include the bulk of the work. By spreading the material out over the weeks preceding the seminar, the professor is lessening the stress of the weekend, which is nice. However, given that I am in the midst of another class and a period of major transition, not having the extra work in these next few weeks would have preferable. That is the reality of grad school though; you do not get to choose when you class demands pick up. You can choose classes based on expectations, but there are never any guarantees that those expectations will match the reality.
The frustrating part is that even with careful planning and time management, it still feels a bit overwhelming, at times to the point that it can be difficult to enjoy the activities that are supposed to be leisurely. Camping this weekend for instance, should be something to look forward to (perhaps with a little hesitancy as it involves sleeping in a tent), and yet this week I have stressed over the fact that I need to have my case study done before Friday and that I have a test the following Wednesday. That stress can make me feel like I don’t even want to go camping. On the flip side, I know that locking myself away for all hours to study is not a healthy alternative, for mind or body. I have said it before and will say it again, you need balance. Whether you are tackling grad school or life in general, all work and no play is not a happy way to live and in the long run, it can end up hurting your productivity and level of success.
So this weekend I will pack up my gear and head for the lake, prepared to let the stresses of school and work slide away for a few days. When I come back, I will have a lot to do, but I have planned out all of my tasks for next week and established a time table for when I will complete the requirements for my seminar. I think I can make it.
Wish me luck!
Sleep: 6.5 hours
Work: 8 Hours
Study: 5 hours
Workout: Blogilates HIIT workouts
Soundtrack: Lindsey Stirling