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The Art Of Falling Behind

We’re two days out of the fall semester. Finals week is behind us, the spring semester and graduation looms. But enough about that.

This semester I fell behind. I fell so on my ass so hard that I made an imprint. I was balancing three playwriting classes, an overloaded course schedule, a dramaturgy gig in NYC, and anything else that popped up along the way. Before I regard this past semester as a bleak memory, here are some tips I want to give to other conservatory students who may fall behind in the future:

  1. Don’t lose sleep- I know this might sound oxymoronic, but I would much rather produce good work then work completed on a half-conscious mind. If you’re already behind, make a plan, but don’t sacrifice less than 7 hours of sleep a night. Your quality of work will thank you.
  2. Eat peanut butter- Rather than turn to coffee for nourishment, turn to high-protein healthy fats. I was strung out for weeks on end in homework woes, but I never had more than two cups of coffee a day. Learn to love avocado toast.
  3. Meditate-I know, this might sound counter-intuitive again, but taking that time to focus yourself will give you a much more focused attitude towards your work.

Falling behind, whether you had a say in it or not, can feel claustrophobic. Your most important job, is to provide yourself the space to keep producing the best work you can. It’s still your education, after all. Even if you do slip-up on a deadline or two, apologize to those who that impacts, and then do the work that you are still proud to call your own.

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