I wrote a post a while back about priorities. To summarize, set your priorities, stick to them. If you don’t have enough time to do something, it’s not a high enough priority on your list. My current list looks something like:
With the exception of a few things, such as using the restroom, etc. that are necessary, I think I stick to this pretty well, almost all the time. Up until now, I’ve been caught up with all my schoolwork, making A’s in all of my classes, getting my writing done every single day, and catching enough sleep to survive. In the gaps, I’ve made a few friends, though a large part of that is simply people I study with, and I’m fine with that.
There are times when you need to set aside your priorities, though, and do something different, something special. I did that this past weekend when I went to see Brandon Sanderson. I will admit that I completely put aside school the day I went to see him. I got up not too long before I had to leave, and after I got back, I ate dinner, went to a concert, wrote, and then read Steelheart from cover to cover. It was around 4 AM when I finally went to sleep, and almost noon when I got up the next day. I went to a concert on Sunday too, but spent the rest of the day doing schoolwork. I have not read a single page of a single book since then. I had an exam today that I think I did fine on. However I also have two homeworks due tomorrow. I finished one of them around 11PM tonight. 3.5 hours later, I’m mostly done with the second one, but I’m also to the point where my brain is complete mush, and I can’t even understand what the problems are asking for any more. I have three more problems to do. If I could still concentrate, I would be doing them right now. I’ll have time tomorrow, I think, between and before classes to get them finished, and be able to turn in on time.
After that, I’ll be caught up to where I normally am at this point in the week, though I’ll also have more exams than usual coming up. I’m going to have to step up my dedication to my schoolwork to stay caught up for the rest of the semester, cutting down on the little distractions and other things that can affect me.
This past weekend, and the days since, have shown me two things. First, there are some things that I value more than my regular priorities. Meeting my favorite author and getting him to sign my books was a one-time event, and it was worth it. If I could go back in time and make my choice again, I would do the same thing. You need to know when your priorities should be adjusted, and you also need a break from the grind to treat yourself every now and then. Do so. Just be prepared to pay for it. Go in knowing what it’s going to cost you, time-wise, and only do it if you have that time.
Also, I learned that I need to streamline my schoolwork. If missing a single weekend day can put me this close to being behind and missing work, I need to cut out other distractions and focus more on my schoolwork as a whole. I don’t plan on spending as much time as I did this past weekend gone again any day for the rest of the semester, but it has shown me that, while I say schoolwork is my priority, I need to re-assess my time and really focus in on it.
I know this post is a little disjointed. I’m really tired. I have class in five hours, so I’m going to go get some sleep now. Hopefully, the next time I talk to you all, I’ll be back on top of everything, getting more sleep, and still doing well in my classes. (Also, if you have a chance to read Steelheart, DO IT. It was an amazing, quick, fun, thrilling read, and totally worth staying up late to finish.)