Hello guys, gals and everyone else!
I graduated early from Arizona State University, and I will say it was quite a challenge. My final semester I had 27 credits! I also worked throughout my three years at University, as well as volunteering and having a bit of fun along the way. While those numbers seem daunting, you can definitely do it! If you’re smarter than I am, you can even do it faster if you wanted to. ( I took a summer off, and only took two classes my other summer. If you took a full load each summer you could cut out at least a semester of your time at University!)
How did I keep it all straight and organized? Well keep reading to find out!
I had a plan. The first step to keeping cool while being over scheduled is having a plan, and then plans in the plan. My plan was to graduate in three years, with the smallest amount of debt possible. I wrote this plan and stuck it up where I could see it. Now, there are two ways of thinking about goals. 1. You tell everyone and 2. You tell no one. Usually I’m very private with my life (weird considering I now write about it online….) but with this I told everyone. And I mean everyone. I think Facebook may have exploded if I mentioned getting out a year early one more time. By telling people I felt like I couldn’t back out and I couldn’t make excuses.
I wrote the big plan. When I say big plan I mean like what I needed to do each month to get it done. It’s almost like a 3, 5 and 10 year plan system-just on a much smaller scale. I sat with my advisor and and figured out what classes I needed and when I should take them. Then I laid them all out visually in excel and played with them until I had a map of what I wanted to achieve.
Then I wrote the smaller plans: After figuring out what classes I needed where, and what hours I would be working at my job ( I worked about 30 hours each week). I sat down to do the little planning. This is what I did each day, and what was going to happen every week. I bought a planner! Now I didn’t start with my filofax. I’ve been using a sort of planner since I was young. For my last year in University I just bought a cheap weekly planner from Target and then just started mapping it all out. I included school assignments, my work schedule and tasks for that, and my volunteering. I volunteered around 1-3 Sundays each month.
You can see my crazy hectic planner below!
You can see my new planner (on the left) is a decent amount smaller than my old one (on the right).
When I felt like I didn’t have enough room to write on my pages, I got creative and added in journaling cards. This is kind of a DIY for Erin Condren’s coil clips!
You need to be realistic when you set up your time. No one can long term survive on four hours of sleep a night! There is no shame in cutting back on something as long as the necessities are covered. If you’re trying to take 24 credits, workout everyday and work everyday you may be overbooked! Maybe working, 21 credits and working out 3 days a week is more do-able. And you know what? No one can tell you that’s bad. Doing less credits? That’s fine too. It’s your life and everyone has their own limits!
I wrote in fun time and stuck to it as well. A lot of trainers will tell you take gym time and make it ‘a date’ with yourself…so you won’t find an excuse and not do it. Take this idea and put it in to everything you do. When you schedule a roommate date to veg out and watch movies…don’t skip it and don’t do homework while you’re doing it! Make dates with friends, family and your significant other! Stick to them and you’ll feel a lot better. Also, take time each week to do something that isn’t stressful that you love. That can be drawing a picture not for school, taking a long bubble bath (any LUSH fans out there?!) or petting your puppy!
How do you keep organized? Let me know below!
Stay Sunny ❤