My Growing Responsibilities

Well, it’s finally here: finals week. I’d like to say that college is no sweat and that I haven’t changed much at all since I started back in late September. But I will have to be honest here, college is no joke.

I started out my career here hoping that the rumors were just rumors. “I don’t really have to study all that much, I never did that in high school,” I reassured myself. The first week went by smoothly. I met new people, established a route to my classes, and even found some down time for myself. “Easy,” I naively thought. I was pretty confident that I could manage all of the work I was given, so I decided that I could run for some type of leadership role in my community. The next week, I became the community representative for my apartment complex on campus.

“I can do more!”

The next week, I join a career club: the Computer Engineering Society (CPES), where I am assigned mentors and attend weekly meetings and events. Another week passed, and I was a part of three programs (CP Scholars, SSS, MEP), two clubs (one social, one career-based), and a representative in of the Inter-housing Counsel. To be honest, I was still fearless. It was three weeks into school, and I was handling it all.

Now unlike most other schools, Cal Poly runs on a quarter system, so we have midterms as early as 2 weeks in. So when the next week finally came around, I had midterms to worry about. All of a sudden, my commitments were hard to upkeep. The work seemed impossible, so I had to study for these tests. The material in class got worse, and my responsibilities seemed to bury me, so I decided to get away from them for the rest of the week, so that I could study.

I did well on the exam, but I had to get back to my commitments. But a problem arose: my professors announced midterms every week. For the next 5 weeks, I had at least one midterm every week. And if I did the same thing as the week before, I would be totally ignoring my responsibilities, which would be, well, irresponsible.

I reevaluated my schedule, and I made room for studying and my duties. But my free time was completely gone. It’s finals week now, and I’ve learned to better manage my time. So much so, that I’ve decided to apply to become an RA next year.

It’s finals week, and now I study more than 30 hours a week, I am preoccupied with over 12 hours a week on duty, and I spend time with my friends for over 10 hours a week. It’s a lot of stuff to do in a week, but it’s manageable.