I know I’ve said this before, but knowing your limits is a really helpful tool in college. It doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do everything you wish you were capable of doing, but at least you’ll know why (instead of being driven crazy by constantly pushing the limits and failing to surpass them). Especially when other people can do stuff you somehow have never been able to pull off and make it look easy.
For me, one of those limits is my inability to multitask, in certain situations. A lot of my friends like to sit in the lounge each evening when they do homework, and it’s a really fun and relaxed atmosphere where everyone’s working and helping each other out with homework, but also chatting and joking and going back and forth. Sometimes, I’m able to chill out there and maintain a balance of productivity and socializing, but if there’s something I’m reading or writing or trying to teach myself (which can be pretty frequently), I have trouble with this—so I either go into my room, where there are less distractions, or plug in headphones and block out the noise. (Usually when I’m doing math, I’m okay to be around people because the numbers in my stream of consciousness and the words others are saying don’t clash as much as words on words do.) But there is still all that time when I “isolate” myself from the rest of the group in some way so I can get my stuff done.
As far as I know, everyone else is completely capable of multitasking, balancing work and friends perfectly. Of course, that’s not true (and it’s easy to see when they have to spend a lot more time on their work to get it all done), but that doesn’t really make me feel that much better because now the people I like to spend time with are even more consumed by their work.
I’m still learning how to balance. Moderation is one of the lessons that Mom and Dad have taught me (and us) that becomes more and more useful as I get older.
Another one that a lot of people don’t seem to understand is how useful sleep is. This is a huge limiter for me—anything less than 7 or 8 hours and things get really ugly really fast. A lot of college kids think that they can get by on less sleep and more coffee, and then they’re miserable because (surprise) sleep is actually important for your emotional and mental health, not just physical. I’m not saying that I’m perfect or that I’ve never believed I could get around this, because I have (and I’ve failed), but it’s just one of those things that you need to know.
Words cannot express how excited I am to go home and see the whole family tomorrow! I just have to make it through an exam this evening and two classes tomorrow morning… It’s going to be a good weekend.
Sending my love,