When I start typing this paragraph, the 18th of September 2019 has just started. Another day in the life of a master student. Only minutes before 00:00h I submitted a .pdf file containing answers on homework exercises for a course I am following. The answers will be part of the grade me and my groupmate will get. I waited until the last possible moment to do my part, which is a bad habit I am trying to get rid of.
While I am listening to the “Peaceful Guitar” playlist via Spotify I try to wind down a bit. The stress of meeting the deadline made me awake and alert. I think of the last day which was filled with an exciting mix of activities. I followed two lectures for two different subjects (System Validation and Basic Machine Learning). Both were 1:45h long with a fifteen-minute break in the middle. In between those lectures, I managed the computer store on the campus and contacted the hospital to prepare upcoming appointments. After the last lecture, I helped to correct the exams of first-year students.
During the day, many small tasks popped up. The fact that there are nineteen conversations in WhatsApp and Telegram which were active in the last 24 hours (both group and personal) probably has contributed to that. I check my four e-mail accounts and see that I received seven e-mails in the same period. An earlier e-mail reminds me that my locker expires at 09:40h. I scrap my plan of sleeping longer and set my alarm a bit earlier. Another day in the life of a master student.
Everything, Everywhere and At Any Time
I have the feeling that in our current society, we stimulate ourselves and others to do everything, everywhere and at any time. We can share and use critical information almost instantly. Desktop and smartphone notifications encourage us to reply immediately. This increases stress and pressure to perform in everything, everywhere and at any time.
I want to encourage myself and others to slow down a bit. Multiple times, I experienced stress and pressure at an uncomfortable level. This year, I made a choice. I choose to focus more on the present and less on the future. I choose to make more decisions based on my own feeling. Doing everything, everywhere and at any time is impossible for anyone. Even for me.