How Not to Get Overwhelmed

Cecilia Alcantar, Staff Writer

Currently, I have a full-time job plus overtime, I’m taking three classes at Brookdale, I’m the vice president of fundraising and finance at Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), I’m the secretary of the Radio and Podcasting Club and recently joined the Filmmakers Club. Over the spring, summer, and beginning of the fall season, I have a part-time job, plus everything else mentioned above. I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and attempt to go to the gym four times a week for at least an hour a day.

My No. 1 recommendation is to organize your priorities. Having a lot going on at once can be stressful sometimes, but when doing something that is enjoyable, all the stress goes away. Know what is most important for you, whether it is school, friends, family, work, etc., and from there, move on.

Since I have joined more than one club at Brookdale, it is hard to go to all of the meetings, but in my head, I make a list of priorities and go to the one that I feel is more important. All of the clubs I have joined meet during college hours Tuesday or Thursday, so I have to choose which one I want to go to.

PTK is my top priority in terms of clubs. I try not to miss any meetings because I help run them, so I must be there. The Radio and Podcasting meetings are only once a month, so it is easy to attend. However, the Film Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday. Since I’m only a general member, I go whenever I can or where I know something important is going to happen.

I have come a long way in terms of how busy I keep myself. Since last year, I have always had the feeling of wanting to do more than just taking two classes and working 30 hours per week. I have heard of other people who work three jobs, or that work full-time and are full-time students.

It’s important to have a good relationship with your bosses. Thankfully, my bosses from both of my jobs have been very flexible with my schedules. They understand that I’m a student and I have a personal life. At both jobs, if I am done with the prep I have to do during the day and we are not busy, they let me get my laptop or notebook and books out to do homework and study.

It is important to have a balanced and set schedule between school and work. At the beginning of every semester, I sit down and talk to my bosses and let them know what my school schedule will be. This way they do not schedule me on days that I am in class or in club meetings.

My full-time job is at Texas Roadhouse. I work as a baker and as a hot prepper. My normal schedule there is Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. I also work Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, since they are short-staffed in the bakery area, and during the winter I don’t work my part-time job. I also work on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. I occasionally work on Sundays and stay all day until 9 p.m. I basically live at Texas Roadhouse during the weekends.

When the season comes and I must go to my part-time job, which is at Rita’s Italian Ice, I only work Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 2 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. This is because these are the same days that I take morning classes at Brookdale.

Essentially, I work seven days a week and go to school three of those days from March to October.

Always plan ahead. If you know that you have something important to do, like a family dinner or a birthday activity, make sure it does not interfere with classes or work.

I know that I always have to work on certain holidays at Texas Roadhouse, so my friends and family already know which days I am not available. For example, every year on Valentine’s Day my friends and I go to iHop after work, but this year I was not able to go because I had to work all day on Friday and Saturday. Instead, we decided to go on Sunday and celebrated as if it still was Valentine’s Day.

It is okay to ask for help. There will be times when you are not going to be able to handle everything. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with school and work, I ask for a day or an afternoon off at work so I can have fun with my friends or family.

I have experienced burnouts, stress, and anxiety, but that’s okay. At the moment it might not feel good, but later you will learn from it. My parents taught me while I was growing up that you always learn from the bad experiences and mistakes; you would not be where you are now if you did not go through those experiences.

At the beginning of the semester last fall I did not have time off. I was going from class to work or staying all day at work while dealing with whether or not I was going to be able to visit my family in Mexico. I only go once every year during the summer, but since I was so busy with work and making money I could not go. I prioritized work before family and I almost did not go to visit them.

I did go, but only for five days and ended up spending more money than I usually would spend.

Leave the least important things for the end. This does not mean homework or class projects. I am a procrastinator, and for some reason, whenever I start homework, I stop and decide to do it or finish it the day before it’s due. However, if I do so, I know that I will give myself enough time to finish it without feeling too much pressure.

What I mean by leaving the least important activity at the bottom of your priority list is activities that you do or do not have to do, but you want to do. For me, it is going to the gym. I love working out, but if I do not have time or I am feeling really tired, I just do not go. My sleep and mental health and stability are more important to me than looking good.