Scheduling Spring

by Emma Eberhart

Through and through I am a planner. I live for organization and tidiness. Arranging objects via color, alphabetically, by size or shape gets me ridiculously excited. I view my love for organization as a strength; however, it is definitely also a weakness because I allow little room for sudden changes.

This spring term I may or may not have committed myself to one too many things. And by one too many things, I definitely mean like five or six. Despite spreading myself far too thin, I am determined to fulfill all of my commitments and do so with grace, ease, and the aid of caffeine. I am determined to schedule all of my time down to the minute and stick to it.

In order to manage 20 credit hours for school, two part-time jobs, and my personal life I am heavily relying on the amazing trifecta of: bullet journaling, to-do lists, and calendar apps. Bullet journaling and organizing your time and efforts can definitely be overwhelming, but I have found it is very much worth the stress.

If you’re looking for any organization inspiration, I recommend a Google or Tumblr search for “studyblr,” which is full of beautiful photos of color coded notes and schedules and charts and a whole lot of other stuff artistically organized.

Balancing School, Work and Exercise

blog1 (1)By: Xylia Lydgate

The first day of school is right around the corner, and I have yet to figure out my fall schedule —­ and I don’t mean registering for classes. Upon the start of each term, I create a “master schedule” allocating designated times for everything I need (and want) to do that day. Before the big day, I like to kick things back the old-fashioned way; I gather all my Crayola markers and create a colorful calendar masterpiece. Although I may not always look at this calendar throughout the term, having planned my schedule in advance ingrains these responsibilities into my memory and most importantly, it helps me find balance between school, work, extracurriculars and, of course, some “me” time!

It’s inevitable that I will become preoccupied with my responsibilities, but claiming that I “don’t have time” to eat, sleep or exercise is never a legitimate excuse. Making sure that I care for myself both physically and mentally is just as important as succeeding at school and work. In my schedule, I create blocks of time for eating meals and exercising. Frequent visits to the Rec Center throughout the school year has helped me to stay physically and mentally strong; it sharpens my ability to focus when returning to school and allows me to clear my mind and maintain my stamina. Keeping a specific, goal-oriented schedule handy, motivates me to stay committed to the physical and mental responsibilities that I owe to myself.

If you don’t already create a hand-drawn schedule, I suggest you give it a try! Take a little break from the screen and resort to some good ol’ pen and paper.

How do you like to stay organized?

Planning Ahead

Andreea Nica_bio photo

By: Andreea Nica

I like to plan. Planning provides me security, a comfort that I’m on the right track. Or, at least it gives me the feeling I’m getting there.

When I began the doctoral program at PSU, I knew there was much work ahead, but surprisingly, it wasn’t the work that had me bogged down. Rather, it was the organization and execution of my five-year plan in the program. I had some vague ideas like any aspiring academic, such as publishing, conferences, teaching and research. But I soon realized that these vague notions of developing oneself as a scholar needed some filling in.

When did I want to publish? And with whom? How many conferences should I attend? What should I teach? What about funding? How many small research projects should I conduct? I needed more direction, and once I gained it from discussions with colleagues and professors inside and outside the department, I began filling in the details of my five-year plan. Excel came to my rescue. I began to organize my goals (brief statements, really) into an Excel document with proposed dates of completion, deadlines for funding opportunities, outcome goals and people I should talk further with regarding the respective goal.

While I am aware that plans change, organizing my time and goals in the graduate program has boosted my confidence and provided a clearer direction on what I want to achieve. I would recommend starting out with one- to two-year plans as they are easier to manage than longer-term plans. After all, many things can change over the course of four to five years.

Good luck planning!

A Note to Mr. To-Do

To my dearest Mr. To-Do,

I realize the importance of our relationship at the moment–and often times, you’ve saved me from some pretty unfortunate situations. What would I have done without you if you hadn’t have been there to remind me that I had that French literature worksheet to analyze or that I needed to go to my professor’s office hours or to pick up toilet paper?

To-Do

You’ve had my back the past five weeks, and I do appreciate it.

But I guess what I’m trying to say is that maybe you’ve been perhaps a little too helpful as of late. I’ve begun to feel guilty: you seem to grow a little larger every passing week, and yet there is nothing I can do to slow your pace. Monday morning approaches, and I realize that I haven’t done nearly enough to satisfy your needs. It’s just been a little hard with all of these midterms and everything. Can we just have a moment and slow down? Would you mind taking a few things off? Can’t we deal with some of these issues a few weeks later?

…no? Okay. I understand. At least it’s nice to know that I can always look to you to keep me on track (kind of). I guess I’ll try harder.

Best,

Katie

AKA Stressed-Senior-With-Too-Much-To-Handle

Volunteer Opportunities on First Fridays

I was introduced to the student group Student Leaders for Service (SLS) through an Alternative Spring Break trip last year. SLS offers three Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips and any PSU student can apply for to be a part of one. I chose to serve the homeless population as well as other non-profit organizations in San Francisco. This remarkable experience has broadened my perspective and motivated me to stay connected to my community.

This year I am one of 25 members of SLS. The student-run group’s main objective is to be the liaison between students and community partners/organizations. I am currently interning at a local organization called SMART – Start Making a Reader Today.  As a program intern, I am learning how to navigate the non-profits’ database, assist with volunteer applications, and compile research for grant writing. In the future, I will be more acquainted and equipped to work, “behind the scenes” with the logistics and administration of non-profits.

WIth my internship, SLS weekly meetings, and leadership training, I am understanding the importance of service-learning and social justice. I have this relentless urge to not only take action, but to spread the word and connect others as well.

To participate, you do not have to be a member or have any prior volunteering experience. SLS has started “First Fridays”: volunteer opportunities in community organizations on the first Friday of every month. Nov. 7th was our first successful day at the non-profit SCRAP. http://psuvanguard.com/news/students-pitch-in-for-afternoon-of-service/

Visit the SLS office in Smith Memorial Student Union Room 124 or connect to our sites to learn more:

http://www.pdx.edu/cae/student-leaders-for-service

http://www.facebook.com/PSU.SLS

Alternative Spring Break 2012 video clip: http://vimeo.com/41207825