Taking care of yourself makes hard work easier

Regina Maze

Daily Texan: What are your commitments at UT? 

Regina Maze: Outside of class, I work 25 hours a week at a law firm, am involved in Women of Excellence (albeit less involved compared to years prior), and I also am writing a thesis. I work out six out of seven days a week, and up until recently I was also studying for the LSAT and applying to law school.

DT: How do you balance everything? 

RM: To balance all my responsibilities and deadlines I use a planner that I’ve color-coded and put all appointments, deadlines, and to do lists in for work, school, and personal. I also do the same with Google Calendar to always have a version with me. Putting reminders in my phone, using sticky notes on my door, and packing my bag the night before are all ways I don’t forget something important.

DT: Are there things you have to prioritize, such as especially difficult classes or a job you depend on? 

RM: I have much less of a social life in the sense of going out, preferring to get better quality sleep because I only sleep close to 5-6 hours a night thanks to waking up at 4:30 every weekday morning to get a work out in. I’ve learned to prioritize my health (physical and mental) because if I can’t operate at my best I won’t be successful. I don’t get to be as involved in my organization due to an inflexible schedule, which is an unfortunate sacrifice. This semester especially, I haven’t done as much of the readings for class as I would usually do, just because of lack of time. I don’t skip class and I don’t call in to work, and I have only missed 1 deadline for assignments.

DT: What steps do you take to take care of yourself while having little free time? 

RM: I prioritize my fitness and health with working out, being active, and eating relatively healthy. This keeps my stress levels lower, helping me operate at my best and prevents me from getting sick! Some days I have to step back and acknowledge that I need a break, so I’ll do something with friends or just relax with watching some Netflix. Opening up to my friends/mom about my stress also really helps!

DT: How do you cope during finals week? What does finals week usually look like for you?

RM: Usually, my finals week is just presentations or term papers, with the occasional physical final. This semester it’s 2 separate 10+ page research papers due the same day, a draft chapter of my thesis, and a take home timed final. My finals week schedule is a little difficult due to my job, so I have to get a majority of my work done in the first week of December.

DT: If you could give one piece of advice to students on how to thrive during finals week, or in college in general, what would it be?

RM: Knowing what your schedule is going to   be a week or two in advance is really important to start planning! Start studying early December, and schedule time to do so to help keep you proactive. Step back, take time to breathe, go to a yoga class, go work out, go volunteer somewhere. Do something completely unrelated to school to get your mind off it. Also, get good sleep! It does matter and is important. Lastly, plan on something after finals to reward yourself and give you something to motivate yourself.

Regina Maze is an International Relations and Gobal Studies and Russian and Eastern European studies senior from
San Antonio.