What a Typical Day Looks Like for Me
A typical day for me is hectic and stressful. It’s full of class, 2 jobs, endless meetings, and work, work, work. I wish I had more hours to myself these days, hours to just sit on the grass in the breeze and exist with no expectation of doing anything productive.
My day almost always starts with an alarm clock in the morning, which I’ll probably snooze once or twice before finally getting up; I deliberately schedule my alarms earlier than I need to just for this purpose. I wake up to gentle guitar music, specifically “Golden Hour” by Jonathan Morali. My morning typically consists of quickly brushing my teeth and throwing on a pair of jeans, making sure I have my student ID card, and then having a walk or skate to the bus stop down the street. I don’t eat breakfast in the morning because I seldom have the time to.
Then, it’s off to school. The bus usually cuts it really close to the start of my first 09:00 class, so I usually have to jog or skate quickly to class across campus from the bus stop, and I’m usually panting and out of breath by the time I get there. On Mondays and Wednesdays, my day starts off with ENGR-180, Spatial Analysis and Modeling. On Tuesdays, it usually starts off with a morning CSE-120 Capstone lab. On Thursdays, it usually starts off with work before going to my CSE-155 Human Computer Interactions class. Every day is different, but not by much. It’s just different permutations of the same items. Mondays are school, school, and work. Tuesdays are school and more school. Wednesdays are school and school and work. Thursdays are work and school. I sometimes feel like I’m living in an endless loop.
What’s worse is not the time I spend at work or in class, but outside of work and class – endless meetings and meetings, assignments, projects, and more. It’s just been so difficult to find time for myself lately. I’ll be programming for hours upon hours getting progress for projects for CSE-120 or CSE-155, or maybe I’ll stay up the entire night to finish a lab for ENGR-180. I don’t deliberately do this to torment myself, believe me; I try to be as productive as possible throughout my entire week in order to not procrastinate, and I get consistent progress on all my commitments and obligations but my full devotion and effort simply put is not enough no matter how managed my time is. It’s been so frustrating, stressful, everything else and so much more, to confront the reality that my fullest capacity is simply not enough no matter how hard I push my ability. Sometimes, there just aren’t enough hours in a day.
I don’t usually have time to eat during the day, and if I do, it’s usually a fast snack that is definitely not healthy for me but is definitely convenient. I sometimes forget to eat at all. My body no longer makes me feel pain when I’m hungry, and instead I simply just feel less energy until I physically pass out or collapse inward. My friends have been trying to remind me to eat as I’ve been reminding them of the same; we’re a support scaffold for each other in a way.
When did everything get so bad? When did everything get so unmanageable? I’m pulling in excess hours turning around work assignments and making sure that projects get done and deadlines get met. I haven’t been able to do the things I love for a long time. I haven’t been learning the piano, or programming recreationally, or working on the personal passion projects that I care about. It feels like in the midst of all this stress, all these deadlines, and all these projects, I’m losing an important piece of myself and my identity and who I am.
Fridays and weekends are different. Fridays and weekends are probably the only thing keeping me sane right now. Fridays usually start with getting early morning coffee downtown with my friend, going to lab and having awesome team meetings, and then going back home to rest before heading back to school for my night lab which is exhausting and draining but fun. I don’t work on Fridays. I finish school around 21:20 and then head over to my girlfriend’s place and we have dinner together and spend the weekend together. Spending time with her, and spending time with our friends, reminds me of who I am for just a fraction of the week. For now, maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s all I need to make it through these last few weeks of the semester before I can finally have the summer to myself, free from the stresses of school.
A typical day for me is exhausting but the weekends help me recharge and remember who I am, and I only need to persevere for a few more weeks before I can finally finish up this semester. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I’m sick of it. But I’m holding on.