A Hooligan Taught Me About Time Management

13 Jul

8 days a week? Oh The Beatles – why couldn’t you have made it so?  I would *love* to have an extra day in my week to do all of the things I couldn’t otherwise do given the time constraints of the current rotation of the Earth. Granted, it would be another weekend day – you better believe my ass would be sleepin’ in.

I love learning things. Anything. I have a really large curiosity for the world around me – especially the people around me. However, my curiosity gets the better of me and I end up saying “yes” to more things than I can handle.  My sleep schedule usually needs to take a hit in order for me to cram everything into my day, but I’m invigorated knowing that I get to do almost all of the things I want to do. I’ve learned that sacrifices must be made if I want to do some kick-ass things. I used to be whiney about not having enough time to get everything done, until I met this guy at a party.

Story time.

I was a freshman math major at RPI who had just become overwhelmed with making my own schedule for the first time in my life. I had the typical responsibilities: class, homework, hygiene (which, surprisingly, was *not* high on everyone’s list…), wanting to feel accepted by others, etc. After sorority formal recruitment was over, I remember going to a party with my roommates. We had all decided not to go Greek. I was on the fence, but other people had convinced me that if I wanted to do well academically, I shouldn’t join a sorority. I was really jealous that all of the other girls that wore their new sorority shirts proudly on campus, but I told myself that I wouldn’t have time for that. I was taking college courses now, and I thought I would spend my time trying to figure out C++ and multivariable calculus. Really riveting stuff, right?

So back to this party: I went with my roommates to a fraternity party. I didn’t drink my freshman year, so parties were always different for me than the girls that I went with. I didn’t get wasted and pass out on couches – I made sure that my friends didn’t pass out on couches. I knew my friends appreciated the fact that I wanted them to get home safely. Also, I’m a people watcher and loved watching other “bros” make complete idiots of themselves. “Dude, we should totally jump off of our porch swing into that pile of leaves!” “Bro, you don’t even know how good I am at parkour!” Go for it, Johnny Knoxville – I’ll be snickering in the corner with my Diet Coke. I love meeting people, so I introduced myself to everyone who looked coherent. I met this guy who went to the same high school as my cousin. He was tall, older than me, an engineer, blonde-ish. I swooned for sure. Anyway, we got to talking (after staring at his charming good looks for a while) and he asked if I was in a sorority. “No,” I replied, “I don’t really have time for it.”

“Well,” he said, “I’m an electrical engineering student and I’m graduating this December. I’m in this fraternity, I row crew, and I will have finished in 3 and 1/2 years with honors. I think if you want to do something badly enough, you’ll make time to do it.”

Holy hell – random fraternity guy was right.

::Insert my college experience montage here::

After that, I kept that little tidbit of information with me in the back of my mind. I joined a sorority, residence life, an a cappella group, student senate, the math honor society, switched majors, became the president of the university’s honor society, became a tour guide, had multiple part-time jobs, learned how to beatbox… you get the idea.

Who would have thought that a semi-drunk hooligan would have taught me one of the most important keys to success?


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