Overwhelmed in a Good Way

I’ve always been the kind of person who loves a challenge. I tend to take on many tasks/projects. I guess I’ve become used to “keeping busy.” As I mentioned in an earlier post, keeping busy was my way of dealing with emotional trauma as a kid. Now as an adult, I’m in a much better place, but I still haven’t really gotten out of the habit. Whenever I’m not doing something, I get restless. I feel like I should always be doing something. At the same time, however, when I’m doing too much, I start getting overwhelmed.

Right now I would say I’m overwhelmed in a good way. I have enough on my plate to keep me busy, but not so much that it’s making me anxious. At the same time, I’m really struggling to strike a balance while I’m here. Yes, it’s great to be involved in projects and network. Yes, it’s great to socialize. But, for me, I feel like it’s also important to find time to just be, breathe, and relax.

Another thing I’m finding is that it’s hard to take advantage of all the opportunities that arise. I feel there is always something – an event, a speaker, screening, outing, etc. Sometimes these things overlap, and you’re forced to choose between many amazing options.

One of the events I’m taking advantage of this weekend is the HGSE Hackathon. Google, edX, and HGSE are presenting challenges in education and students are getting together to come up with solutions that leverage the power of technology. I’ve never really participated in a Hackathon before so I’m really looking forward to it.

Another thing I am finding is that as a Harvard student you have access to so many learning resources and trying to find time to use them all is overwhelming.

One way I’m trying to prioritize my options is determining what can wait and what can’t. Most MOOCs, for example, can be taken at your own pace and at any time. So while I’m enrolled in some, I’m not too worried about completing them while I’m here because I can always do these later.

On the other hand, I recently found out that if you’re a Harvard student, you get a year’s worth of access to Lynda.com for free. I would rather do these while I’m here so I can avoid paying $25-40 a month. (I’ve got loans and stuff to pay, you know?) I plan on completing some Lynda tutorials on my downtime during weekends and plan on spending some of my winter break learning new things.

I found some really neat looking courses on game making:

I feel these will complement some of the skills I’m learning in CS50.

On a side note, I really like how Lynda tutorials lists how much time their whole course takes, or at least how long all the video portions are. As a learner, I really appreciate that because I can make decisions about how to fit a course into my schedule.

The other thing I really want to take advantage of while I’m here are going to the various museums and events around the city. One thing I really regret about my undergrad years is that I didn’t really explore the area I was living in. I would really like to explore Boston and Cambridge, and get to know the area I’m living in a bit better.

Time is flying by so quickly and I don’t know where I’ll be going after I graduate, so for now I’m just going to make the most of my time here.


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