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Confessions of a grad student, pt. 5: Sleep deprivation, new opportunities and balancing it all

It’s been a long time since I’ve written for this column, so I have many updates for you!

For starters, I’m doing two internships at Sommet Dame and My Color of Beauty, and it feels great. I still have my two jobs, plus three courses this semester. Because of everything I’ve been balancing, let’s just say that I’m going through a teensy, weensy thing called sleep deprivation. Well, it isn’t entirely new for me because of my last four years at University of California, Irvine; I would do this while trying to finish my studies. The twist is that I’m just trying to juggle so many different things.

I’m trying to stay caught up with this semester, so I haven’t been sleeping much. And in the moments that I’m tired, I have to drink energy drinks or other forms of caffeine to stay awake in order to get anything done.

I’m absolutely grateful for all these opportunities, but I feel like…I’m doing too much. I mean, there’s only so much I can do in one day. There’s only so many energy drinks and so much lack of sleep I can have.

I know that I’m pushing myself to success to achieve different goals. Hell, I’ve been doing this to myself for as long as I could remember. So…what’s different about this time in grad school?

During my undergrad years, I did pull all-nighters but not as frequently as now. Honestly, I was trying to pass and receive my degree. It took me getting to Mills to realize that I have to focus on school and start a writing career. Well, the writing career was my choice, but now … I’ve gotten so far in it with these editorial internships that I feel that I cannot stop. I refuse to quit, an aspect of my overachieving personality.

Also, I feel that I’m also fighting against myself, trying to become a better version of myself — if that makes sense. I feel as though I wasted time during my undergrad years not doing what I really wanted to do. Now that I have all of these opportunities in journalism and writing, I’m just questioning whether all of this is worth it. When I say that, I mean all of the sleep deprivation, energy drinks (which I feel are quickly hurting my body during the process) and the anger that’s building up in me.

Oh, I forgot to mention that these extra positions are making me a tad bit frustrated. There’s homework and reading that I should be doing so that I won’t fail my classes. These internships have been time-consuming, fueling these all-nighters I’ve been pulling, trying to edit stories and write blog posts, while reading such dense, yet enriching texts. I have a few more weeks left, and I’m trying to hang in there with all of these things happening.

What am I going to do? Suck it up and finish everything? Or crash and admit that I shouldn’t be doing this much? I’m only human after all. I’m only a grad student that’s trying to make it through her first year at Mills. I don’t know what I’m going to do.