One Course or Two?

Brian Cunningham pictureBy Brian Cunningham, graduate student pursing a MS-Finance degree

Sitting in the office with a financial model validation on one monitor and the Webster university course registration window on another, I weigh my options. Can I manage two courses at once again? I glance at my calendar and see a business trip set for next week, upcoming regulatory audits, birthday parties, and other events. Time is on my mind and at a different time in my life, anxiety would be breathing down my neck.

Last year, at my therapist recommendation, I began keeping a planner. She encouraged me to not try to change my schedule at all; just to log my time. The result was a discovery that I had a skewed perception of how my time was being spent. More sobering, I wasted massive amounts of time doing nothing. I mean, scrolling through Instagram mindlessly, or anxiously responding to small talk texts that I thought, if missed, would make my friends and family feel unloved. Fictional responsibilities based on unrealistic expectations. Upon reflection, it is likely that my friends did not need my “lol” texts as much as I thought they did.

As it turns out, when I took the time to examine myself, my time, I was able to make changes that improved my quality of life. It gave me more time to do what made me happy.

Learning makes me happy, challenging coursework, keeps me engaged, and a busy routine keeps me on the right path. For me, two courses will work just fine, because I prioritize the things that increase my quality of life. I would encourage anyone to take the time and examine themselves as well, and prioritize happiness. Sometimes that is a break from your phone, sometimes it is a quiet trip to the gym; it could even be taking zero classes for a while. Do not forget to do what is best for you, because sacrifice is mandatory when success is desired, but be absolutely certain that the cost is worth the benefit.