A week from tomorrow, I will officially have finished seven out of fifteen of the credit load I opted to take on this summer. That will free up a lot of time in the last few weeks of the other two classes, which will mean more time to read, write, and – oh, well I suppose I should probably sleep at some point, too.
The thing is, months like November (NaNo) and July (JulNo) don’t always allow for optimal amounts of restful sleep. (I’m not saying I mind; it’s just a fact.) Add in classes to study for, an internship to maintain, books I want to have read before heading back to school in August and the three Fs – friends, food and fun – and sleep is pretty much lowest on my priority list.
Let’s get something straight, though: I’m a dietetics major. And that doesn’t mean I know everything about every vitamin and mineral (I really didn’t do well on that test in basic nutrition, if you want to know). But I do know a lot about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even if I don’t always follow my own golden rules (more times don’t than do). I know sleep is important. I’m not in denial about that.
However, there is a reason I drink coffee – and a lot of it. Because come August 1, at about 7:00 PM, I am a free woman. I can eat, sleep and lounge around all I want. And I can do that for about two and a half weeks before I head down to school for newspaper boot camp and yearbook training. I really don’t mind losing a little sleep, if it means getting decent grades (and drinking coffee).
I think the trick is finding a balance. (Okay, I know for a fact that’s the answer to life’s dilemmas, but work with me here.) You can’t just study study study and expect to reach the end of your life and feel like you’ve done okay. You also can’t party party party and expect to feel like you’ve accomplished anything by the time you hit 50.
Study. Have some fun. Eat good food and sleep as much as you can – that’s the trick. Have I learned how to make that work out in my own life yet? No. Not even close. That’s part of growing up, though. You learn what your limits are and you do your best not to push yourself too far past them.
I’m maintaining a 3.4 average right now overall. I’ve written 14,000 words in the past week and I’ve read a few good books (and I’ve run a ton of good miles). I exercise, I learn and I smile. Without smiling, there is no happiness. And if you stop, well, your lips might forget how.
Read. Love. Live. That is my philosophy. Each piece is just as important as its partners. Find a balance, and you will go far.
Just don’t go too far, or you’ll run out of things to do.