The Insanity of a 24-Unit Workload
When I registered for my full 20-unit schedule, successfully petitioned to the university registrar for permission to take 22 units, and then decided to audit two additional seminars, I don’t think I really understood what it would mean to go to 24 hours of class every week. It’s not that I thought it would be easy or even manageable; I just didn’t fully understand that I would have class during most of my waking hours of the day, pushing my work hours back into my regular sleep schedule.
Prior to this last week, it was actually alright, I think. I would wake up early to write papers or get ahead in reading, study between classes, do my problem sets on weekends, leaving only a few problems left to finish during the week before the Friday deadline. And despite the insane amount of class and the insane amount of work, I was still managing to tutor, organize events for a student club, and socialize with dormmates. And then last weekend, I spent three days in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was absolutely amazing and was, I think, a well-deserved break that followed a particularly stressful week. But. During the three days I spent in awe of the fall foliage of Oregon and the beauty of the rising and falling hills and valleys and streams, schoolwork piled up and by the time I was ready to start reverting back to an academic mindset, I was already far behind. Far behind on a week that was going to be a busy week already. And so in my attempt to catch up on work, my sleep schedule went haywire and I have, over the last week, gotten an astonishing 22 hours of sleep. Yes. 22. As in, I spent more time in class than I did asleep. Crazy? Yes. Absolutely insane.
In the dining hall, most people would greet me with the oh-so-positive observation: “You look tired.” And when I told them all the work I had to do, they would smile, pat me on the back, and say, “You can do it. Just think… after this week, it’ll all be over.” What I neglected to tell people was that last week was only the first of a sequence of several busy weeks. This week, I have 3 essays, 2 midterms, and 1 oral presentation. Next week, I have 1 essay, 1 mini-essay, 1 oral response, and NaNoWriMo will kick off with what will probably be a sleep-deprived start. Point is: I’m busy. I’m tired. And now, at 4:26 am, I’m finally going to bed. The sad thing is, this is the earliest I’ve gone to sleep since… Tuesday night.