UNITED STATES—If there is anything anyone who closely knows me and have met me in person, the worst thing you can tell me is I cannot do something. If anyone ever asks me to utilize one word to define myself it’s resilient. Throw a ton at me and I will bounce back it might NOT happen overnight, but it will indeed happen. I tend to think I work best when I am able to focus without distractions. I hate being micromanaged, especially when I have a rhythm going and people continue to interrupt that rhythm when I have limited time.
This brings me to juggling multiple things at once. I would NOT say I’m someone who thrives with chaos, because let’s be honest I don’t think anyone wants to have chaos in his or her life, but sometimes things are just thrown at you and you have to adapt the best way you can people; that’s life. There is no rulebook on how to navigate life. This takes me back to my undergraduate days where I was working full-time off campus and commuting week to week at least 200 miles back and forth, while taking at least 15 to 16 credits a semester and working a part-time on campus, while also dealing with an internship.
Yeah, it’s a lot people and when you only have 24 hours in a day you think it’s impossible to do it all and at times it is. However, I created a schedule that fit all my needs and duties and stayed within that schedule to ensure nothing fell through the cracks. Look being in college and working is NEVER easy, especially if the classes you’re taking are intense. That is an entirely different discussion when it comes to courses you take as an undergraduate because every professor/teacher has a different methodology when how they instruct students. Some professors are a bit lax, others are a bit strenuous. The strenuous ones are always headaches, but I appreciate it because it forces me to deliver my best in the classroom.
You all might be asking why I’m discussing intense workloads well it’s because I’m slated to start my doctoral program in the coming weeks and I know the notion of taking classes, working on a dissertation, working a full time and a part-time job is going to be a damn challenge. I have people in my ear telling me don’t do this, hold off, I appreciate your concern, but I know what I am and what I’m not capable of. I remember my counselor telling me to NOT take more than 6 credits during the summer session; I decided to do 12 credits. Be advised these are courses that are intense (6 and a half weeks) compared to a normal 15 to 16 week course.
Yeah, you’re doing like 2-3 weeks of course work in a single week if not more. I was an English major so the reading is unlike anything people; we’re talking about a 100 pages of material every other day if not more. Frustrating, chaotic and when it comes to medieval literature or Shakespeare even more chaotic. With that said, I survived I made the Dean’s List, all while working a full-time job and commuting nearly an hour each day to and from work. I proved all my haters don’t assume that someone is not capable of doing something because you don’t know unless you’re stepping in that person’s shoes or you’ve experienced the same thing.
I know a doctoral program is intense and the class load will be unlike anything I’ve seen before, the material will be dynamic and the focus will be relentless. Tact on the fact that you’re working a job and it soon becomes all about juggling things so nothing falls thru the cracks, but at the same time ensuring that you don’t get overwhelmed. I will make the argument when it comes to my education I’m lazar-focused. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m paying for my tuition out of pocket that makes me NOT want to fail a class or receive a subpar grade.
With that said, the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course has been presented to me which is great, because I’ve ALWAYS wanted to have that control of a classroom in a collegiate setting. The minds of those undergraduates are the future of the world people. Tact on the fact that it’s the ability to teach a subject matter like cinema which is the thing that I breathe, dream and think about more than anything in the world and that passion is going to exude in the classroom.
The question is can I handle it all? I know I can, but things will be cut in my personal and work life as a result. I am going to be making tough decisions in the next 2-3 years of life as I restructure what it is I want to accomplish, where I’m headed and what I might be leaving behind as a result. However, I’m coming to realize with life change is sometimes good. It forces you to challenge yourself and see what things can be accomplished when you put your mind to something. An intense workload does not mean impossible it just means your stress level might be higher than normal, but if you’re committed you will survive no matter what is thrown your way people.