Tenth Entry – Unexpected & Personal Challenges

I would describe the Internship class as two classes rolled into one. This isn’t a cornerstone class for no reason. I found it very hard to manage my classwork plus internship work. Writing blog posts, attending webinars and events online, and doing work for my actual internship made it difficult to manage the workload of this class alone. I feel my performance in both has suffered from this as well. If that wasn’t enough, there are other things that can cause these pressures and stresses to be even more exacerbated. One of which is unexpected and personal challenges, and in my case, I experienced both.

On top of this class and my internship, I am also taking senior project and portfolio classes. I have definitely overloaded myself and it has been difficult this semester. Although this is a challenge I set up for myself in advance, I now regret this decision. It has affected my productivity, mental health, and expected grades in all my classes.

During Mid-terms and Spring Break I experienced a family crisis where my mother was hospitalized. Thankfully she is alright now, although still in need of care and supervision. She is now immunocompromised so that meant she could not live in her house with her grandchildren. They attend school in person, making going back to that home not possible for the time being. She moved into my apartment and I became her primary caregiver. Suddenly, during the most important and ramped-up time of the semester, I had extra prolonged responsibilities and guidelines to adhere to. Compensating for her hindered my productivity more than my classes alone had prior.

To put it plainly, near the end of the semester my computer started to lag and freeze while working on projects, causing my projects to not save or be recoverable. I saved often to compensate for this, but my computer became almost unusable. In order to avoid the lag and freezes, I only ran one program at a time, which also hindered my productivity because I needed to switch between many programs very suddenly and at a moment’s notice if needed. My computer is a refurbished 10-year-old MacBook Pro. This computer has run well up until now, handling running 2 to even 3 programs at a time before it started to show significant lag for the 3 years I’ve had it. Like many students in my position, I could not afford to send my computer to be repaired because I was actively using it. I also don’t have the money to buy a new computer on the spot (because y’know, I’m a student). Thankfully, my mom had her computer with her which was newer as well as powerful because she is a gamer. I switched between these 2 computers to get my project done. Although my workflow was greatly hindered by this exchange and multitasking, it was still better than what my mac was doing before.

Contacting my professors, advisors, and internship supervisor was important during this time. Letting them know what was going on was what helped me get through everything. Their experience with similar issues helped me to manage my workload on top of all my challenges. Although these difficulties did affect my communication, being in touch with them also allowed me one thing I did not give myself, their grace. They helped me to lighten my workload and extended deadlines. Even though I have been working up till the very last day of classes, I managed to get the work I needed to get done more or less. Despite this, I’m not sure what my grades will be this term because realistically, my productivity was greatly hindered. Again, in hindsight, I wouldn’t have taken all 3 of these cornerstone classes together.

My advice after all of this:

  • Be reasonable and realistic with yourself. You know yourself best. Don’t waste your time, health, and money.
  • Even If you are in a rush to graduate, don’t overload yourself or you will end up prolonging your degree due to a possible failure. Regardless your physical and mental health will suffer. Take care of yourself.
  • Being inconsistent contact is hard with a heavy workload, but it ultimately will help you in the long run.
  • Give yourself more credit, allow yourself to be flawed, and give yourself forgiveness and grace.


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