Time is Life is Time

This summer, I did nothing or, at least, nothing much. I stayed at home for most of its entirety, so I had plenty of time to read, learn how to crochet, and procrastinate on my chores. Even though my stock of contacts was dwindling and my pile of laundry was rapidly growing, I pushed it off to the side. Since I thought I had the time, I was lenient about when to do things and occasionally forgot about them altogether. In June, it didn’t matter. In July, it was fine. In August, it was dragging. But now, in September, it is debilitating. During the school year, it’s important to employ time-management and planning skills to be able to keep track of work but also not miss out on fun.

My main takeaway from Junior year would not be Calculus, Chemistry, World History, or Shakespeare. It would be the importance of time management and planning. As someone who has lived in Eaton Cottage, a dorm that is 1.32 light-years from the center of campus, I have had to plan every walk I take down to the last second. I can not afford to miss final sign-in or be late to first period. To be honest, neither can you. One has to work in a timely manner and always have a goal in mind to achieve success — be it academic or musical or in sports or extra-curricular. If not, each day will fly by and your homework will often feel like an anchor weighing you down. It is like building a house–it’s much easier if you have a blueprint that outlines the materials and the steps you need to take in order to construct it. Without a plan, one is “building blind” and one is likely to miss or misinterpret important details that will cost time and money, or for us, time and more time.

Along with planning what you have to do, remember to plan to take care of yourself. You’ve earned it. You need it. Trust me, you do. Set aside time to meet with friends to attend The Weekender events. There is more to life at Andover than your Midterms. Set aside breaks to ensure peak productivity. Having downtime is important because it allows the brain to rest and process information while allowing the body to relax and recover from the demands of everyday life. You might not realize it now, but self-care is essential for maintaining a healthy work/life balance, and life will be much easier by creating time for yourself every day or every few days. I promise you that.

To all Andover students, don’t forget to ask for help. Many times I think that asking for help is a waste of time. I would tell myself that getting help is embarrassing. I would tell myself I shouldn’t need to receive help from my peers.  More often than not, it is that same group of peers that will give you tips on how to break apart and complete a biology assignment in the shortest amount of time, minimizing the time it takes to understand questions and preventing you from getting lost. Don’t forget that the only printers are in the library and Sam Phil. Don’t forget that classes start at 8:30 a.m., not p.m. Don’t forget that dinner closes at 7:00 p.m. Don’t forget to clean your room. Don’t forget that Add/Drop is only a few weeks. And most of all, don’t forget to eat food (as an incentive, there is usually dessert)!

  1. R. R. Tolkien wrote, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” The time that we have is ours to use wisely, or to misuse. It is ultimately those who are most efficient with their time who will succeed. Such a cliche, but cliches usually have the unwelcoming attribute of being true:

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

By chunking out time and creating even just a basic schedule, you can visualize your work and be able to complete it in a timely and efficient manner. You also will forget fewer things, but they are already scheduled into your day, so there is less you have to remember. While the specific examples in this essay may not work for you, I assure you that implementing the idea behind it will benefit your daily life at Andover.