What a hectic quarter this one has been! Between attending meetings, planning events, and working shifts as an RA, dedicating an average of 10 hours a week to my research internship, and keeping up with 19 units of fast-paced science classes, it is a wonder that I still have time to breath and sleep a few hours at the end of the day!
Although my grades are not suffering from all this busyness, I can feel myself burning out. Like the Energizer bunny looking confident in pink and shades, moving forward, always moving forward in chase of some invisible carrot, and banging its drum as if its life depended on it, I convince myself that I am superwoman and do not give myself a break. I bang my drum, studying late into the night, baking fresh batches of cookies for my residents because they taste better, staying in my lab overtime because I want to reach the results of an experiment, tying ribbons with sparkly tags around lotions to make holiday gifts for each girl in my house, redoing Physics and OChem practice problems, and signing up for even more classes next quarter. There is always the carrot, the motivation to work harder, strive higher, do more, be better, to give my all in everything I do, and to truly make a difference.
To accomplish those things, or to reach the carrot so to speak, I need to be realistic. I am only a Sophomore Undergraduate. In the future, there are many more years of school. Burning out is not an option. So, time management and prioritizing come into play. Unlike the Energizer bunny that “keeps going, and going, and going…”, I am not a fictitious animation with an infinite source of energy. I am a 19-year old human being who needs (1) Sleep, (2) Exercise, and (3) Guilt-free relaxation. I am afraid I took on more than I could chew happily this quarter, because to be honest anyone looking at my record would think this quarter went smoothly like all the rest. Happily is the key word in the former sentence. I have been able to manage all of these responsibilities simultaneously and do well, but I simply do not have the time to fully enjoy and engage in each one.
After reflecting upon all of these things I have come to this conclusion: Just because I can, does not necessarily mean that I should.
So, next quarter, I am taking the second parts of Physics and Organic Chemistry. However, instead of additional science classes, I will be working towards my double major and taking two Spanish courses. I am hoping that the these classes will add some variety into my course load and give certain areas of my brain a break from a quarter of Newton’s laws-cAMP-bromination-delocalized electrons-science-thinking-overload.
On a more positive note, the Celatrol experiment is going very well, I have sliced, stained, and fixed the brain slices and will finish mounting them on glass slides on Friday. We should be viewing them under the fluorescent microscope next week. I cannot wait to see the results!