Category: Project 365


The Time-Killing Challenge

Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

Hello Seniors… I’d like to talk to you about Time Management.

My English teacher in high school was famous for a lot of things… most notably his little axioms that he would pull out of his sleeve. I doubt there’s a Watauga High School graduate who had this man who doesn’t still cringe at the phrase “In your copious spare time…” or “Procrastination – the most populated nation in the world.” But perhaps “Wild Bill” Waterson wasn’t just trying to taunt us as he assigned an endless string of books that we as, sixteen-year-olds, would rather not read.

We often talk about how busy we are.  I know I think I am a very busy person and if you look at my planner, you will indeed see that I have every hour filled with something, be it work or school or some other activity.  I don’t seem to have any copious spare time.  But in reality, if you looked at how much time I waste each day doing things that are not necessary. I check my e-mail obsessively.  I look at Facebook for a while.  I laugh at some of the texts from last night… I will even struggle for an hour to accomplish one of the DTH’s crossword puzzles even though I know I don’t know the name of the Lone Ranger’s Nephew’s Horse (okay actually, I do… it’s Victor). I seem to have time for all of these things, and yet that Emily Bronte book has been sitting on my shelf unread for a week now, despite the fact that I have an exam coming up on it soon.

Now, before we get too far into my own personal failings as a student, let’s remember that we’re seniors… shouldn’t we be good at this whole time management thing already?  These seem like problems that (no offense) freshmen and sophomores should have to deal with, but they aren’t.  And I’m not the only one who procrastinates.  You do it too.  We all do.  We don’t all procrastinate the same way, but we all do it.  So I propose a challenge.

Let’s pick one day in the next week where we embrace our copious spare time and use it for productivity. Turn off the playstation. Sign out of Facebook.  Check your e-mail in moderation. Instead?  Study! Read!  Do something productive! It can be as simple as doing your laundry or cleaning out your desk, organizing your midterm study schedule or finishing that short story you’ve been tossing about in your head. I promise if you take ONE day out of the next week and dedicate it to productivity, you will be extremely happy with yourself.  As for me, I’m choosing Tuesday for my Productivity Day, and in my copious spare time, I will be catching up on my ENGL 338 readings.

Until next time, happy studying, seniors!

206 days to graduation!

– Samantha Ryan

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Check out these helpful links for time management:

Essential for Success

Basics of Time and Stress Management

Time Management Resources

The Med School Time Management point of view

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Trust the process

Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

Good morning, Seniors.  In the spirit of Health and Wellness, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss the seemingly stressful journey that we have in front of us.  The next 7 ½ months are going to be some of the most exciting and simultaneously terrifying months of some of our lives. But one of my professors gave my class the best advice.  Trust the process.  Sure, we were talking about the writing process but you know what?  It seems to be pretty relevant advice.

Trust the process.

Trust the Process.

Trust the Process.

When I graduate, I might not have a job.  A lot of us won’t, and that’s okay.  It’s the reality we live in and we need to prepare ourselves that we might be the (gulp, I hate using this word) victims of the economic recession.  So what can we do? Trust the process.  Trust that things will work out eventually for the best, even if they aren’t working out now. The recession won’t last forever and eventually the job market will rebound.

Here’s the thing: we have enough to stress out about as seniors because while the job market is on the back of our minds, we still have exams, projects, papers, homework… not to mention, countless extracurricular activities.  Don’t ruin the fun with stress.

According to WebMD, stress can lead to:

  • Heart Disease
  • Headaches
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Decreased sexual performance
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mood swings
  • Shaking

Really… who wants all that?  And it’s true, stress is a part of life and no matter what happens, there will always be something to stress about.  So what can we do to deal with stress? WebMD suggests:

  • Avoid sources of stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Engage in problem solving
  • Take responsibility for situations
  • Lower your expectations and accept that there are some things out of your control.
  • Have supportive friends.
  • Learn relaxation techniques (I love yoga at the SRC, personally)

So let’s not stress this year.  Let’s continue on with our lives, work hard, and trust the process.  Good luck everyone!

Countdown to Graduation: 222 Days!!!

– Samantha Ryan

I’m a Senior… who the HEEL are you?

Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

Welcome back to Carolina, Class of 2011. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and now it’s time to take on our senior year.  Walking around campus the first Tuesday of the semester was very surreal.  Of course I had classes to go to and of course this first day of class was like any other first day of class, except I had a strange feeling because as much as I didn’t want to let myself think about it, this is the last time I’ll be doing the whole first day back after summer thing.  But along with the repressed ache at the knowledge that this is ending, I was also feeling quite bold.  Hey, I’m a senior!  I’m invincible!

However… the universe decided that for some reason, this notion of my superiority over the shenanigans this university can pull (um, hello Connect Carolina) was completely unfounded and I was submitted to a few quasi-humbling experiences.  First I nearly tripped up the stairs at the UL twice and then, despite being a senior, I was forced to use a MAP to find one of my classes. It was embarrassing.

I guess that’s what I get for thinking I’m a big shot.

As far as working on my bucket list, I haven’t made any serious progress, though later this week I’ll be hitting up Jesse’s Coffee in Carrboro.  Hope you all had a great start to the semester!!

223 Days, Class of 2011!  Get excited!

– Samantha Ryan

Starting the Senior Bucket List

So, I have put together a Senior Bucket List: things I want to accomplish before I graduate from Carolina. I’m still not used to the idea that my college years are coming to a close, but so it goes.

  1. Go to every coffee shop in Chapel Hill/ Carrboro. If you know me, you know that I love coffee.  True, I’m currently trying to cut back on my caffeine consumption, but we all know that’s not going to work out.  And hey, if I can justify my coffee addiction as part of the Senior Bucket List then I’ll feel much less guilty about it.
  2. Take One Class Second Semester Just Because it Looks Interesting. *Must Not Be in Major or Minor* I’m a Communications and History double major with an English minor, so I need to take a class outside of these three departments just for the pure sake that it looks interesting.  I’ve got time in my schedule (I was able to graduate December 2010 but I wanted to stay for the full four years).  If anyone has any suggestions for good classes outside those departments, let me know!
  3. Go Into Every Non-Dormitory/ Non-Medical Building on Campus. Even if it’s just to peak inside, I want to get a look.
  4. Join a Club. I know it’s a bit late to join a club, but so far in three years at Carolina, I’ve yet to actually join a club.  I’ve been involved in various organizations around campus, but have never actually been a member (unless you count the three weeks when I was in College Republicans freshman year…long story).
  5. Go see a show by one or more of the A Capella Groups on Campus. Because I sadly haven’t done that yet…
  6. Take advantage of the free movies in the Union more often. Free is free…and don’t lie, you’re looking forward to Eclipse coming to the Union, if only to make fun of the Twihards.
  7. Climb the Bell Tower.

There you have it.  My Senior Bucket List.  Somewhere in between all of these things, I’ve got other personal goals to accomplish, such as figuring out what I want to do with my life, getting a job, and maybe getting in to Law School, oh, and get good grades in my classes and keep up three jobs.

Stay classy, Class of 2011.

– Samantha Ryan

Getting Back to the Quiet

Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

So, I grew up in the mountains, where quiet is the norm.  Coming to Carolina was a big change from that and I loved the excitement and activity of living in a town like Chapel Hill.  However, after a few years I have begun to realize that I miss the quiet.  I miss being able to not hear trucks or cars (or my neighbors upstairs… having a Rock Band game does NOT make you a real band), so I decided to find a way to turn off the noise and get back to the quiet.

Twenty minutes up the road is the Eno River State Park, a beautiful place to spend a day and get away from the noise of Chapel Hill.  Now, the brochure advertises 24 miles of hiking trails, and this got me excited because one of the things I miss most about the mountains is the ability to go hiking at the drop of the hat (really, if you want to go hiking at my house, you go outside and just start walking in any direction…within minutes you’ll be hiking).  However, when I got there, I realized that my definition of hiking was drastically different than central North Carolina’s definition of hiking, but they are still nice nature walking trails and you do have to cross a few wide streams along the way, so you get the general sense that you are hiking.  Along with hiking, there is a spot for swimming in the river near Few’s Ford as well as fishing; both are popular sites in the summer months to cool off.

Word of caution: you will get dirty and muddy and wet.  Also, be sure to bring your bug spray and wear the long pants/long sleeves ensemble to keep the mosquitoes and ticks off of you, and of course, bring a water bottle or two depending on how long you plan on being out there.

So, seniors, if you have a spare Saturday with no plans, check out Eno River State Park.  Located at 6101 Cole Mill Road, Durham, NC.

Enjoy the summer, Class of 2011!

– Samantha Ryan

360 Days

Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

Ahh… summer at Chapel Hill.  As the corny DTH ads said, there’s nothing finer than summer at Carolina. Summer Session I started yesterday, May 11, and I’m sorry for those who are in class, though I did enjoy my stint at summer school a few years ago. I’m keeping busy with my own work with the General Alumni Association and Student Stores, so fair’s fair.

Have you ever used the Media Resource Center for more than checking out movies?  It’s an incredible resource on campus and as a displaced Communications Major (I’m not taking classes, so I’m locked out of Swain’s Production Lab), I think I’m going to be spending a lot of time in this place.  The Media Lab gives students access to Macs with Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, MPEG Streamclip, some Adobe CS3, and an audio lab where you can record the next hit single…or at least try. My only real complaint is that they do not have a recent After Effects version; 6.0 is ancient in comparison to CS3 or CS4, but you take what you can get, I suppose.

I had always known about this place; since I had access to Swain, I never thought I’d need it, but it is a great spot to work on all of your media needs. And it’s fairly convenient.  It has the same hours as the rest of the MRC, which means that you’re not going to be able to pull all-nighters getting that incredible presentation finished, but it’s still better than nothing.

So perhaps in your final semesters at Carolina, you can check out the Media Lab in the Media Resource Center, located in the basement of the Undergraduate Library.

360 Days, Class of 2011.

– Samantha Ryan

Project 365

One year from today, the class of 2011 will be graduating from Carolina. This is a terrifying realization because as much as I’m excited to join the real world, I don’t want to leave Chapel Hill.  Sure, being done with classes may sound great (especially after finals week), but I love this whole “being in college” thing.  I can still remember moving in, August 18th, 2007, bearing the 100-degree heat while trying to get my stuff to the ninth floor of Hinton James and to think that I’m now 75% done with my undergraduate career is absolutely terrifying.

This coming year is going to be one of excitement, stress and confusion for all seniors as we try to get through and find out what life has in store for us.  Careers?  Graduate Schools?  The dreaded unemployment? In this economy, nothing is for sure. I know I’m trying to prepare for anything – studying up for the LSAT and GRE because in case I don’t end up getting a job, I want some sort of backup plan.

But this is also a year that we should take advantage of all that Carolina has to offer us.  Do everything we’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s joining a new club,  taking that class that’s always looked so interesting but we’ve never had the time to take (for me, it’s Milton and Chaucer), discover a new favorite restaurant on Franklin Street or explore around the castle (YES!  We have a legitimate castle just off campus!  More details on that will follow, I promise).

I want to officially challenge the class of 2011 to, in the next 365 days, make the absolute most of our time at Carolina, because no matter what happens in our lives, when we look back on this time spent at UNC, we don’t want to have any regrets.

365 days, Class of 2011.  Let the countdown begin.

– Samantha Ryan