I began this post a month ago... Advisors spend a good amount of our time encouraging our students to create and maintain a schedule that will allow time to meet their academic, social, and physical needs. We have all kinds of planners and scheduling tools to ease this process. Some of us are even willing to sit on the floor with our students, colored pens in hand, to make an effective schedule. We believe in time management. As I write this entry at 11:40 pm, I am forced to admit that I have a hard time taking my own advice. Like my students attempting to balance their classes, study time, work, their work-like extra-curricular activities and athletics, I am overwhelmed. As a UAlbany alumna, I know that their stress is intense, but fleeting. I know that there is a grand celebration coming for them if they just keep their eyes on the prize. I know that there are doors that will not open for them if they give up. I often equate the feeling to one being close to the summit of a long hike or near the end of a race. Everything in you just wants to collapse, but you have to tell your self that if you just keep going on a little longer, you will reach the summit. You will finish the race.
There are days when everything within me wants to collapse - when I feel that I have nothing left to give. Almost every time I feel that way, a student in crisis or another person in my non-UAlbany life will come to me forcing me to realize that my reservoir of compassion is not totally depleted. Whatever I have left pours into the situation at hand and in the end, I and whoever it was that needed me are better for it. There are other days, when I really have to take care of myself so that I can be my best self. There are days when my lunch break becomes a sacred time of recuperation and no one dare intrude. I believe that taking good care of one's self is a public service. I want my students, my colleagues, my family, friends, and the stranger I meet on the street to get the best version of me. Most days I succeed.
The problem is, one tends to have many races with many tricky hurdles. If you are like me, you are a member of several groups or communities and you have responsibilities/deadlines in each one. Many times, these responsibilities conflict with one another. It is crucial to prioritize your goals and to learn the magic of the word "no." Examine yourself, be honest with yourself, prioritize your goals, and then manage your time accordingly. This will always be a work in progress. Try organizing your to do list using Stephen Covey's Time Management Chart from his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. How much of your time is spent doing what is not urgent and not important?
I just want to encourage you in the next three weeks to keep your eyes on the prize. All of the final exams and papers are waiting for you after Thanksgiving break, but in three weeks it will be over. In the 1990s, we used to have the 11pm Scream during finals week. Apparently, this is not a thing anymore. The 11pm Scream was deliciously cathartic during all of the endless studying, presenting, and paper-writing. I digress. Focus on your end goal. Use every tool at your disposal. If you need help, ask for it. Breathe. Eat. Sleep when you can. Yell. Dance. We feel your struggle and we are here to help.
Welcome! My name is Rachel Moody. I post weekly announcements and messages to motivate and inspire my UAlbany advisees, and any one else who visits. Comments are welcome! While you are here, have a virtual cup of tea!