Time. People are always saying we have enough, like “you’re young, you’ve got time.” So why does it feel otherwise? Coming into ULIP, life has been an incessant chase for more time; that extra day to finish your assignments, that extra hour of much needed rest, that extra minute to run and catch the metro you’re close to missing. It would be a lie to say I haven’t struggled, and I’m sure some of you have felt the same at one time or another. University is not the only place where these precious seconds slip between the spaces of your fingers, I often find myself thinking about the future. I turned twenty not too long ago, in five more years I am 25, in 10, the big three-oh. It feels somehow as if I need to hurry, to act in haste. In two years, I finish my degree and we are all well aware of the job struggle post-uni, so of course we look to prepare: internships, connections, work experience, whatever. All of that, combined with deadlines, can be very pressuring, it feels as though there isn’t any time. “Organise, discipline, organise” is what my Mother tells me, yet, I do that. I have a diary, I write plans every week, and my MacBook desktop is neatly cluttered with files that correspond to different aspects of my livelihood. So why do I feel as if nothing has changed?
My Mother also stresses this one word to me: focus. I must admit, I am incapable of thinking in a straight line, and that is normal (to a degree), the human mind is constantly in a train of thought, a train that runs from sunset to sunrise… so it’s understandable- I guess. However, ‘normal’ doesn’t always mean ‘okay’. I have found that when I focus on one thing, I am able to complete it to my fullest capabilities. Multi-tasking is great, yes, but is it always necessary? I think as students, we feel obligated to juggle many things at once, and if we find it difficult we get the usual “how will you cope with REAL life” or “wait till you enter REAL adult life”. Frankly, I am tired of hearing this because:
Bref. Focus. Focus is good, linear focus is good. It is possible to centralise your efforts on one thing without neglecting others. I find that when you focus on something, naturally, your body loosens because you don’t have a million-and-one things whizzing in your brain: it can relax and do what it needs to do comfortably. As for the future, yes, it’s inescapable but why do we always refer to it as being to impersonal and far away? Tomorrow is the future, an hour from now is the future. If you look to the near future and focus on that, perhaps things may be easier to manage, and by things, I mostly mean time. Right now, our degree is important, without it, everything we are aspiring to become may not be possible (do take this statement with a pinch of salt however, do not misunderstand, University is not the alpha and omega). Couldn’t the internship attaining/connection making wait till Christmas perhaps, where the constraints of University are less… constraining? You might see that time becomes a lot more malleable when you prioritise and focus on the most important things now.
Oh- and enjoy yourself a lot more too. Handling time isn’t exclusive to meeting deadlines comfortably, but additionally for you to have those essential, destressing moments. University students get a lot of flak for playing hard (though admittedly a little too hard sometiems), but you know… it’s not always a bad thing?
[This may be a personal struggle but I believe it to be very relatable to many of you. I am not a psychologist, nor a life-coach, but I do speak and advise through my own experiences. Try focusing on the ‘now’ and not the distant ‘future’, maybe you will see a slight difference, mayhap a large one. Time is malleable, time can be moulded to you; I am telling you it is possible and I am telling you that things will be okay.]
By Chelsea Bondzanga
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