BWW Blog: Juggling Classes And A Show
I started classes with only two weeks before my first rehearsal and already it can feel overwhelming - even if things fall into place perfectly and things aren't being forgotten or rescheduled. When rehearsals start, I'm going to have days where I'm in class from 9:00 to ending rehearsals at 11 pm, with few breaks for naps or food.
All that on top of school work?
I'm stressed just thinking about it.
There are a few things that can help you go from being overwhelmed to busy but handling it.
Write out your schedule:
I went through all four years of high school juggling my schedule in my head just fine, but once I started college it became too much to remember. There were too many things due at different days, at slightly different times, and it was impossible to know from memory that there's two assignments due at 11:59 pm while remembering that class on Thursday is cancelled.
Keeping a semi-detailed schedule can keep things from being overwhelming or too much. What works best for me is having a dry erase schedule since that can easily be changed when rehearsals start/stop. In addition to that, I also have my class schedule printed out on my binder so I can always look at it if that I get that sudden feeling of panic that I forgotten a class (which happens more often than I like to admit.)
Your friends have your back (and you have theirs!)
Theoretically, everyone in your rehearsal will have just of a chaotic schedule as you do. If you have three projects due tomorrow and a doctor's appointment that makes it so you have to miss one rehearsal (permitted that its not tech week and you always let your stage manager know), you could always find a friend in your rehearsal that is willing to help you run lines to make up for any missed rehearsal.
This also counts for any classes where you have friends - if you have this nagging feeling that there's an assignment due next class that isn't posted on the school website ANYWHERE, sending a quick text asking a friend about that has saved me numerous times. Usually I was just freaking myself out, but for the times that I wasn't? My friends have probably saved me a full letter grade at this point.
Having friends in the industry not only makes the work less lonely, but it makes the workload less stressful.
Color. Code. Everything.
It saves me so much time when writing out my schedule if I can write "5 page essay due 1/16" in purple and remember that this is for my history class, then if I write "5 page essay for your 9 am history where you have to talk about the civil war".
Color coding my schedule makes it easier for me to take a glance that it and have it trigger my memory in just a few seconds. And, as we've established, I'm a bit of a nervous mess - if checking my schedule only takes two seconds then I'm saving so much time since I'm doublechecking my list about 50 times a day.
I also keep my rehearsal times in black so I can just write "6:00 - 9:45" and save so much room. Most of my schedules tend to require small, clean handwriting, and anything that can help me pretend I have small, clean handwriting is a plus.
Hopefully these tips make the transition from high school to college, or a particaly difficult new school year, much easier to get through and significantly less stressful!