Prioritizing commitments

by Breanna Adamick

We are a little over halfway through the fall semester now and it is a common time for me, and likely several others, to start to realize a few things. Such as, the long list of goals I wrote up at the beginning of the semester, thinking I would have accomplished them – or at least made good progress – by now, is likely not going to be fully finished. Or else, how I completely, once again, overbooked myself in classes, activities and commitments. It seems I constantly have to remind myself I cannot be in two places at once.

There are always so many things I want to achieve each academic semester – both related to classes and clubs at Greensboro College, and in my personal life with friends, family and my own goals. By the end of the semester, prior expectation and current reality do not line up. I will have accomplished several of the really important goals, but there will always be some I lament not completing.

I have come to realize that is natural and that the truly important goals will be remembered and done, while the slightly less necessary ones can wait until a later date. After all, a semester is only so long, and focusing on life and happenings at GC definitely takes precedence over many things, not only for the sake of good grades, but for sports, friendships and fun activities so many of us participate in.

Problems can arise, however, when we overcommit ourselves. We become dragged in so many different directions simultaneously and cannot give our full attention and best effort to any of our activities. This is where discovering our top priorities is important, so we can truly better focus on what matters most.

A group of people prioritizing their tasks.

Academics and furthering our knowledge for future careers should, of course, be the No. 1 goal on the list in our current situation as college students, but it becomes more specific to each individual after that. Is there a club on campus you are passionate about, or one that will aid you in career endeavors? Are there people in your life you want
to spend more of your time with? Narrow down your list of priorities to three or five, if you can, so that you can focus on those most important goals and not spread yourself quite so thin in attempting to do everything.

A big thing we all have to adjust to, and we hear everyone talk about this before and during the transition to college life, is time management and commitment. We have to figure out, as new adults, how to fit everything into our daily lives and not overwork ourselves completely in the process. That can be especially hard at the college age, as we are
still, for the most part, discovering our main likes and dislikes, and what interests we genuinely have. So much can change within us during just a semester, as well. It is imperative not to limit yourself to just what you know. Allow yourself the time to contemplate your changes and what will work best for you in that instance.

Another aspect to this is recognizing when we are overloaded and need to step back from a few commitments. If you have joined a club but have not been showing up or doing your part because you have just realized how busy you
are – how much more stress and complication it adds to your current situation – communicate this to your peers in the club and take a step back for a while. You can reevaluate and choose different priorities next semester if that is what you want. Be fair to yourself and your needs, but also to the club, or whatever it is you have pledged your time to.

Remember also to take life one day at a time, as much as possible. I know this can be hard, as I often catch myself thinking far into the past or future when I should simply be focusing on what comes next in my immediate reality. It can be startling the amount of life one can miss if they are so wrapped up in what has happened or what may happen. The past and the idea we have for the future may shape who we are, but so does the present.

With the end of October rapidly approaching, we have shockingly few weeks left at GC for this fall semester. However, we all know the final weeks of fall semester can be quite exhausting, and will likely require a great amount of perseverance, as our minds soon start to turn to the latter part of the year with the holidays and fun times over break to come.

Remember to give yourself the respect you deserve, for your hard work and dedication. Remember to respect and commend your peers and professors for all that they have done alongside you through the course of this semester, and perhaps other semesters and years as well. Be as present as you can this last month of the semester and take the necessary time for the people and things that matter most in your life.


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