Hey! The last six months have involved a lot of fast changes for me – moving out of dorms, moving back home for a week, moving to (and back home from) my first apartment in Madrid, and getting settled in my apartment here in Los Angeles, right off campus. Aside from the shifting locations, the change in pace of life I’ve had to adjust to and from has been a little overwhelming – I miss being able to take two hour lunch breaks over menús del dia and writing papers in grassy parks at my leisure more and more as I get deeper into midterm season. Life has been getting hectic, to say the least.
As an engineer, especially one at USC, where we’ve got hundreds of organizations to become involved in, it’s not easy to balance lectures, labs, research, activities, social life, and sleep. You’re bound to have that one friend who spends their days in lecture and nights (and mornings) in Leavey Library, and you’ll also have the other friend who’s always on top of their game and never sleeps less than eight hours a night. More likely than not, you’ll fall somewhere in the middle.
They say engineering is all about solving problems with certain resources and constraints, and that’s what you’ll find yourself doing with your schedule as an engineering student. One of the most valuable lessons you’ll gain from juggling your schedule is the ability to manage your time well – there are so many resources available to help you stay on track.
Personally, I’d be completely lost without my Google calendar, a stack of Post-It notes I always have handy, and the Reminders app on my phone. I program each event, assignment, meeting, and obligation in my phone or on my computer so that I’ve got a record of what needs to get done. Color-coding it, labeling events by class, organization, type of event – really whatever has helped me stay on task and has made it so easy for me to understand the layout of my day and plan accordingly. I love having sticky notes with me just to jot down quick ideas and reminders to myself; though I really rely on my phone’s Reminders, a lot of times, ideas just stick better when you’ve written them out with a pen on paper. The best way to make sure you’re optimizing your time is to find ways to manage it! It’s a skill that you’re definitely going to be well-versed in on the other side of this degree.
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