A List of Lists

By: Paola Ortiz


When I started packing for college, I made a list. Multiple lists, actually. A list of things to buy, a list of things to pack, a list of things to leave behind, a list of things to buy when I get to campus, a list of things to do once I’m settled in, etc. At one point, I had so many lists I needed a whole new one to keep them in order. I ended up feeling so overwhelmed by all these lists I started experiencing anxiety…and it was only April. I hadn’t even graduated high school yet, and I was already letting college life stress me out.


Now that I’m actually in college, it’s not quite as stressful as I made it out to be. Sure, there were some challenges; Hunt doesn’t always serve food I can/want to eat, it was hard figuring out where all my classrooms were at first, and the hills seemed more like mountains to my Floridian-raised self, but after only a week I considered myself fully acclimated to the college life.


Then classes started.


Despite taking AP and honor-level classes in high school, there was never a lot of homework. Everything I needed done I could finish in class. The only work I ever ended up taking home was yearbook stuff, and even that never took up too much of my time at home. But now that school is home, I’ve found it a lot harder to manage my time. Even though homework isn’t due right away, I still struggle sometimes to sit down and say to myself ‘Get this done.’ Even having a planner doesn’t always help me, although it’s definitely made a difference.


In my almost first whole month as a college student, I’ve learned that setting reminders on your phone isn’t always enough, no matter what people say. Maybe it’s just me, but after I type the reminder in it seems to disappear somewhere in the Cloud. So I’ve learned to write everything down in three separate places; my phone, my planner, and on a whiteboard in my room. I’ve noticed that if I see the same message more than once, in different places, it’s more likely to be ingrained into my mind. It seems to be working so far, but only time will tell.


In the meantime, I’ll be subtly brushing the goldfish crumbs off my homework right before turning it in.