You see as a college student, you figure out what matters. As the diagram suggests, you can only pick two of the three. Pick “School & Future Jobs” and “Well-being” and we may never see you until graduation. Pick “School & Future Jobs” and “‘Free Time'” and live off of five to six hours of sleep…per week.
Maybe, maybe if you’re lucky, you lie in that sweet red spot, but I would argue that the majority of us haven’t or can’t figure it out. I have not. This is a story about the College Student’s Dilemma, specifically, my dilemma.
I feel like I am always doing homework or studying. I’m never really “done” with homework. When you’re about to be done, you’re given ten more assignments. When you’re loaded with assignments, you have an upcoming test you need to study for, at least that is what my situation looks like. I don’t remember the last time I “finished” homework for the day.
Let me tell you about my ten hour work-day.
Before I begin I should provide you with some background knowledge to make sure we are all on the same page.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I decided to time how much school I do in a day. Anything having to do with school, I would time. This included being in lecture, completing labs, attending office hours, studying & more studying.
Bathroom breaks, my commute to class, eating, even going through my social media for five to ten minutes, and anything not related to school didn’t count and were not recorded on the stopwatch.
And like most experiments, it wasn’t perfect. Admittedly, there were times where I forgot to stop the stopwatch or I forgot to hit the start, but for the most part, I feel like it was a pretty accurate representation of my day.
Now that we are all on the same page, let’s talk about it.
- Wednesday (10/11) – 8:37:03.27
- Thursday (10/12) – 10:36:11.98
- Friday (10/13) – 7:51:12.69
There are three possibilities, either you study less than, more than or equal to me. Either way, I’m sure you know what it’s like or you can imagine what it’s like to do school for this long. It’s absolutely insane. In terms of what’s my “normal”, I’d say I probably do school for about eight hours a day, give or take. My ten and a half hour day was pretty extreme, but hey, it makes for a good title.
Let’s analyze the most extreme day, Thursday. With 24 hours in a day, 10.5 dealing with school gives me 13.5 hours a day, not bad. Again, since I didn’t time bathroom breaks, meals, or even my commute, those hours automatically get added into Well-being and/or “Free Time”, let’s estimate 2.5 hours a day and that gives us 11 hours left. With a recommended 8 hours of sleep, that means that with my crazy schedule, I still end up with 3 hours of “Free Time” per day, which is good, right?
Here’s the biggest dilemma. I think we can all agree “School & Future Jobs” are what I value most of that list. Understanding that and understanding my extreme schedule, isn’t 3 hours a day plenty of time? Honestly, no, “Free Time” really isn’t free time for me as I said and I’m sure you current/previous college students completely understand. That being said, we forgot work.
Now eventually I need to start working again and when I do, that’ll take away my 3 hours of “Free Time” away, but also, no shift is only 3 hours long, so that means having a job will take hours away from some other area and it’s definitely coming for my Well-being hours. I have yet to face this situation, but I will soon and I’m sure you’ll hear how that goes.
My intention for this post is not an excuse to complain about my day. If anything, please don’t continue with your day thinking that I wanted to waste your time just so I can complain and for you to feel sorry for me. Listen, that’s not at all. We’re all college students. No matter our current situations or our majors, I’m sure you can understand this dilemma. I wanted to share this post with you because I’m not quite sure where to go from here.
Ideally, I want to find that sweet spot. I want to be able to balance everything out, I’m not sure how, but that is a next step.
Through my previous posts I know I’ve promised a beginning, middle and end with each story, but quite frankly, this is a weak ending and I apologize for that. I promise I’ll make it up in the part 2 of this story. For now, this is my current situation, my current schedule, my dilemma, and I am working on changing it. Stay with me.
You know my day, but what does your day look like? How do you balance everything? Have you successfully found that sweet spot?