Hi, Organized Messes. This guest post is by me, Shayne Aquino. I currently am going into my second year of a PsyD Clinical Forensic Psychology program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. At the same time, I am also an avid gamer, cosplayer, writer, and volunteer my time for nonprofit organizations and associations.
Each step taken as a student also means carrying the burden of trudging on with more baggage than one can carry. As a student, life is as organized as it could be between classes, writing a dissertation, and soon, practicum. Some of the organizations that I volunteer with as well are psychology related or philanthropic in nature. However, life holds challenges with balancing this aspect of life with the geekier side. There are crucial days where there is a struggle for time between sewing an important costume piece and writing a paper. Or being able to binge- watch a few episodes of Supernatural or doing research for my dissertation.
Time is infinite, but deadlines cast a large shadow. What do you do? Recently, I worked the Electronic Entertainment Expo, otherwise known as E3. This meant that my week prior and the week after the expo, I had to do extra homework and whatever other obligations there are that I need to complete. It was painstakingly difficult despite the benefits; it might have been work, but being a cog in a well oiled machine that is one of the largest booths at the expo made it worthwhile. Proper time management seems to be the key to keeping on track with all projects and obligations. However, there are also two other factors that need to be taken into account: self care and diligence. Self care is another term that I learned to use as “I do what I want to relax” and it isn’t a bad thing. We all need time to unwind, because stress can build up over time without release. Despite everything that I do being essentially for myself- like work and grad school- it is still important to take that time to relax for a few hours playing Skyrim or just spending time with the hubby. Read a comic book or something; don’t’ feel bad about it.
Finally, the last piece to this balance is diligence. Staying persistent to a schedule and remaining disciplined is important. At my grad school, we were recommended not to have a job. Great! This means more time to time to play, right? Not at all; figuring out how much time to put onto studying and having fun means sticking to that schedule and doing as much as possible not to stray. It is OK to go to comic cons and meet ups, but if obligations are piling up there’s a problem. Don’t let obligations pile up, they make more stress, and eventually less time to play video games.