The beauty of an open schedule

This year represents a huge chance of pace for me, and that’s been my favorite thing about it so far.

I’m in grad school, I’m not working in ResLife, and I’m not in choir. These all contribute to my schedule being way more open and flexible than it’s been for the past two years. I’m also in nine credit hours of class and — for the first time since probably first semester freshman year — that actually means I’m in class nine hours a week. I work at my assistantship 10 hours a week in the office, but then that’s it. I don’t have work come home with me.

But don’t start thinking I’m sitting here with nothing to do. I’m still teaching fitness classes, I’m now working rec center events and I joined a church choir. I’m a research assistant for an upcoming book. And, oh yeah, I’m a grad student, so I have a ton of reading, critical writing and research. A weekly reading assignment of six articles, each 20+ pages, is not out of the ordinary.

Still, the fact that most evenings I come home, make myself dinner and do homework — and that’s it — is amazing. Seriously, it’s done wonders for my mental state. Getting to decompress in the evenings and work on my own schedule is something I haven’t had in a long time, and it makes me feel so much less stressed. Plus, I have weekends free from teaching and meetings for the first time in quite a while.

As I said, I still have a lot to do, but I’m liberated because I’m not pinned to a schedule set by others. Now I can get my work done the way I want and when I want. For the first time, possibly ever, my schedule is more flexible than most of my friends’, so I’m telling them to decide when we should talk on the phone or get lunch. I’m asking my roommates what night would be best for them to try for a “family” dinner.

The cherry on top of all this is that — also for the first time — I live in a great place for decompression. I would love having the freedom to be home no matter what, but it’s made even better by the place that is my home. It’s not far from campus, but it feels like a big step away because it’s homey and spacious and in a quite neighborhood. I can cook, I have multiple rooms to choose from for homework, and I have a giant bed.

This year is going great so far.

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