As the final weeks close in and the end of the semester draws near, many students (and even faculty) may feel as though they are hitting the wall and reaching that home stretch breaking point. The balancing act of being a student is made no easier with the addition of finals, papers, holidays and always looming deadlines. It can be easy to get caught up in this whirlwind and succumb to what can only be described as an overwhelming sense of dread.
A wise woman once said, “The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up,” and while this often elicits a laugh and is not the most practical or productive advice, it does present a unique opportunity to look at what we really consider to be falling behind, catching up and trying to get ahead.
While falling behind is not exactly what we strive for, acknowledging this possibility and the factors that bring it about should be. The process of moving forward means self-reflecting on where you’ve been, where you are. It is looking at the to do list for the upcoming weeks, feeling overwhelmed and budgeting that time in any way you can. Without this fear that we’ve fallen behind – which often, we usually haven’t – we may not have the urge to shoot for the last unchecked box.
With less than four weeks until the close of another term and year, now is the time to fall behind and fall even farther and harder forward. Letting that fear become incapacitating is the enemy of productivity. If only one box can get checked tonight, it is one more than where you started. So start small, work smart and remember at the end of these weeks is a well-deserved calm.