Keep COMM and Carry On!

Written by: Courtney Swaw, Senior Communication student


Courtney Swaw (Noun): Senior; Full-time student (18 credit hours); Center for Service Learning (Study Abroad-London-Spring Break) student; Communication intern (APSU Center for Service Learning intern); Commuter (12 hour commute a week); Part-time daycare employee (12 hours a week). If you are anything like Courtney Swaw, you tend to bite off more than you can chew.

Being a full-time student with a part-time job is stressful enough, add a 12 hour a week commute, a first time plane trip out of the country for Study Abroad, and a Communication internship (130 hours on-site), and this is enough to overwhelm and bog down even the most organized person down.

It is spring semester (approximately three weeks in), and the final semester of my senior year is already kicking me in the backside. Maybe it’s just me, but it always seems there is so much to do and so little time to do it.

This semester is my final semester of college, and I unwisely decided to cram everything into one semester making my final semester the hardest one of my college career yet. YAY ME!

Despite the challenges I will have to face this semester and the obstacles I will have to overcome in order to be successful, I am NOT going to let this final semester of my college career beat me. I’m stronger than that! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

A lot of people up to this point in the semester have asked me how I do it all. Believe me, I am still finding my groove. However, I can tell you this right now, even though it isn’t going to be easy, it WILL be worth it in the long run. The best thing to do until then is keep calm and find your groove.

Up to this point in my semester, I am still finding my groove. In order to emphasize this, let’s take a walk through a typical week of school for Courtney Swaw.

MWF are my longest days of the week. I wake up around 6:30 a.m. to get ready for the day, leave my house at 7:30 a.m., begin my 2-hour commute to Austin Peay State University and usually arrive at 9:25 a.m., complete internship hours from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., go to class from 12:20 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., go to work from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and start my 2-hour commute back home typically arriving at 8:30 p.m. By the end of the day on MWF, I am so worn out from the day’s activities that I eat something real quick and then go straight to bed around 9:30 p.m. with the knowledge that I have to wake up early the next morning to work on assignments.

On TR, I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to begin working on my assignments so that I do not get behind or overwhelmed later on trying to finish up the assignments last minute. I start with the assignment with the earliest due date, then work through all of the assignments due within the week in consecutive order until each one is completed. This can be very time consuming, but rewarding once all of the assignments are completed.

When I start to feel overwhelmed from the activities and responsibilities throughout my hectic week, I think of the words my mom used to say to me as a young girl. Her words, “Courtney, how do you move a mountain? One shovel full at a time,” resonate in my mind during these times, and I think to myself, Just keep calm, Courtney! You can do this!

If you start to feel overwhelmed throughout a week, please know you are not alone. Nobody ever said college was going to be easy. However, you can make the days throughout your college career easier if you take one day at a time and find a groove that works for you. Look for the finish line in the horizon and be reminded that once you have reached the finish line in your college career, it will be SO worth it.

Just remember in times when you feel so bogged down and your brain is feeling foggy from being overworked throughout a typical week, you can do anything that you set your mind to as long as you take it one step (or shovel) at a time. Just keep COMM and carry on!

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” –Benjamin Franklin



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