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Taking it one piece at a time

May 1, 2011
CHELSEY?ROATH , The Mining Journal

A t times, life can be overwhelming. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get done what needs to be done.

It didn't always used to be this way. When I was a kid, the hardest task I had to manage was whether to watch "Scooby Doo" or "Bugs Bunny," all while trying to choose which Barbie to play with. There weren't a lot of time management questions. Plus, let's face it, Bugs won out every time.

Finals week. It doesn't matter how many I go through they never seem to get easier. The study guides, the cramming, the impossible problems; it's enough to drive anyone crazy. It's not like during the semester when tests are scattered throughout the weeks and you can put a little more focus on one subject than another. Nope. For one week, students are forced to spread themselves as thin as possible, straining to remember every detail they can about the past 14 weeks. I made the mistake of taking two math classes in the same semester along with a computer class.

Even when I sleep, I have formulas and equations dancing in my head. More than once, I have caught myself trying to debit and credit one of my statistics problems. As I've said before, I'm an English girl. I can write about anything, but throw numbers into the mix and I'm doomed.

On top of studying for finals, I'm in the process of switching apartments. Even though I am only moving three blocks down the street, it's still hectic. I have to pack all of my clothes, dishes and furniture while attempting to make my apartment as clean as possible. That involves filling in all the holes in the walls, getting my carpets professionally cleaned, and scrubbing the floors until they shine.

But, just like when I was a kid, when I felt like I was about to reach my breaking point I called my mom to vent.

"It's all too much, I just can't do it all." I whined.

"Yes you can," she would reassure.

In the back of my mind I knew she was just trying to be supportive. But the encouragement wasn't getting me packed and it wasn't helping me remember how to create a query in Microsoft Access.

"All you have to do is take it piece by piece," she went on to say. "Don't try to do it all at once. Focus on your first final right now, and don't worry about packing until finals are completely done."

She was right, as moms usually are. I was trying to do everything at once.

I had to break down my hectic schedule into little pieces and conquer them one at a time.

I would spend the majority of the day studying for the next day's final, and leave one or two hours at night to start packing. I started in one room and didn't go to the next until I was completely done.

When I was little, I watched Bugs Bunny while playing with my Barbies and built a house out of Legos. I still had to narrow my focus. I couldn't possible do it all at once. So I guess, when I look at it more closely, not much as changed after all.

Editor's note: Chelsey Roath is a student at Northern Michigan University. Her biweekly column on college life in Marquette runs on Sundays. Her email is



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