The last twelve weeks have been a whirlwind of events and amazingly, we’ve made it to the end of another quarter. With the new projects I’ve been pursuing while taking classes, my life has become increasingly complicated. Despite pushing myself harder than ever before, overall I had the best quarter I’ve had since starting college. This is what I discovered worked for me and what I’ll be carrying over into my Spring Quarter.
Just like last quarter, I am doing a complete review of my life so that I can keep improving.
Inspired by Lisa Jacobs from Marketing Creativity, I completed a review of my achievements for the quarter. I paired it with an update on my goals for the school year.
For the goals update, I always rank my success on a scale of 1-10. The change between last quarter and this quarter is incredible. If I hadn’t gone through them before the winter, I probably would’ve forgotten them completely.
Writing in the 7s, 8s, 9s, and even 10s motivates me to continue pushing myself to do more. By breaking them down into the next steps moving forward, I am confident that I can bring the rest of them up to the same standards.
How I Handled School
It was my second quarter taking four classes (a full course load at my college) this year, so many of the practices I developed in the fall naturally extended to the winter. I continued to use my Bullet Journal, but tailored it to my needs for the quarter.
Early in the quarter, I realized that any time spent doing homework in my apartment was significantly less productive than any others. I forced myself to stay on campus to finish all my work or wake up early to finish it in a coffee shop the next morning.
The other change I was trying to make this quarter was to establish a degree of external accountability during my study time. My friends and I made traditions of working together in the same place every week. Most days, knowing that I had to meet them, I would end up going earlier to get a head start.
Balancing Other Commitments
The largest change between this quarter and last quarter was the depth of my involvement in my extracurricular activities.
To earn some extra money, I tutor a few students from the neighborhood around my college. Tutoring is great because the one-on-one sessions can fit easily into a tight schedule. I’ve also found that students and parents are flexible if I’m having a particularly difficult week. So even though I took on 4 more hours of tutoring, it was easy to make them work.
In the fall, I joined my sorority, Pi Beta Phi, but this winter I got really involved. My various roles within Pi Phi kept me pretty busy a few afternoons a week. These commitments are much less flexible and my leadership positions require additional time outside meetings. That being said, the best part about Pi Phi is that it involves working with my friends so the related time commitments often feel more like a break.
These blog posts are a new commitment I took on this quarter as well. Writing posts became much easier with practice and it was rare for the posts to feel stressful. I found a schedule of choosing topics, researching, and writing that made them infinitely simpler to complete.
Do You Even Lift
Beyond my formal commitments, I’ve also been training for a half-marathon this quarter. The training plan I’ve been working through has developed into an obsession for me. I’ve added a weight lifting regime to it as well, and I feel strong and confident. The best part about training for it is that one of my best friends, Katie, is on her own (half) marathon training journey and she is the best support system!
In addition to keeping up with the workouts, I’ve made some other lifestyle changes so that I can feel my best. Completing the workouts in the morning before my 9 AMs forces me to get to bed early. In previous quarters, I had a pretty erratic sleep schedule and now I have to get at least 6 hours every night so the workout isn’t miserable.
I’ve also started eating much better. Before training, my meals were unhealthy and I wasn’t eating enough protein. I’m trying meal planning, and have really noticed the difference in my energy levels when I eat better.
Looking to the Spring
This quarter has been a whirlwind and I feel I’ve grown substantially. Between classes, tutoring, and my blog, I was always busy trying new things.
Next quarter, I will be adding a couple more commitments. I got an internship (!) in downtown Chicago, which will require me to be even more organized since it will be a significant hourly commitment each week. I also joined another club on campus, which will keep me extra busy.
To make room for these additional commitments, I am only going to take three classes in the spring. This will allow me to give my all to everything else that I am doing.
I was happier and healthier this quarter than ever before in college. The key was that I kept pushing myself to do more, but not so much that I was overwhelmed. In taking on a couple new commitments for the spring, I think I will thrive on these experiences.
I hope to keep this trend going and can’t wait to see what spring quarter will hold for me!
How were your winter quarters? If you decide to do your own quarter reviews, I’d love to see your method!