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Four Years at the Mount

Goals for the year

The year was...

Sarah Muir
MSM Class of 2018

(9/2016) The year was 2006. I was an eager nine year-old, all ready for school with the standard glossy folders covered in various baby animal pictures, pencils, erasers, glue, crayons, and other supplies necessary for a successful first day. Every year, my goals were the same, to remain organized and never once have I completed that goal. Permission slips, handouts, and homework all vanished into the abyss of my book bag. Folders no longer resembled folders, but worn out books with tearing spines. Pencils, pens, erasers, books, all disappeared without a trace and were never to be seen again. Luckily, and by the grace of God, I passed my classes.

Flash forward four years and I am 13 years old and ready to enter high school. My goals to become organized, focused, and productive remain the same. I did not succeed, but rather, I discovered a way to navigate my cluttered little world that seemed to only make sense to me, much to the chagrin of my label-loving, hyper-organized sister. My methods, to an outsider, were somewhat chaotic and higgledy-piggledy, but they worked (obviously, or else I would not be here as a Mount student writing this). I pray you forgive this next moment of self-flattery, but in high school I learned how to balance my messy world with unprecedented grace and no small amount of luck.

Another four years and I am in college. Still disorganized, but managing. My tendency to procrastinate is, if I am honest, just as terrible as it ever was. However, I realize that time spent is mine to spend and whether it is done wisely or foolishly is my own fault. Nevertheless, I recognize that I am a college student who is entering the year that many have deemed the most difficult. If I am to succeed this year, last minute papers and cramming is not going to cut it. I am facing a new challenge in which I not only have to juggle school, but work as well. Not to mention, my dream of studying abroad approaches and with it comes responsibilities that I need to face.

I have a plan, a crude, unexciting, still not yet fully formed plan, but a plan, nonetheless. It may sound a bit simple and easy to many of you reading this, but I have learned that anything more complex than this has a tendency of not working. It all starts with a planner. Now I have had many, many planners in the past and have tried variations of color-coded and post-ited (don’t bother looking it up, it isn’t a word) systems, but they have all failed. So instead, I rid myself of the fancy highlighters and sticky reminders of varying hues. This year, I shall stick instead with a pencil and a journal and write down the date and the time it is due.

Some of you that read this might think about how idiotically simple my master plan is and I agree with you; however, it is not my "master" plan, it is simply a plan. One that will help make my life easier. Maybe you are the type of person, like my sister, that plans their path in advance. If you are, then that is wonderful! I envy your ability. Truth be told, I have never been one to cut out a ten-year plan into stone with full details of how I get from point A to point B. I am more of the mind that I know where point B is and realize that there is more than one way of getting there.

I told you it was not a very revolutionary plan; Heck, it is barely a plan at all, but it is something off which I can build. There is a small part of me who knows this probably will not work, a part that knows I am not the type of person to keep planners or organizers or written down schedules, but I need to try to show some semblance of order. My previous way of doing things, worked for high school, but I am not in high school anymore. I need to find a way to become truly efficient and not just scrape by on luck and a less than stellar, but passable work. I want nothing more than to make sure that I do not end up putting my name on sub-standard work this year and to work on becoming a better student.

This is my goal this school year. I did warn you it was not very exciting. It probably sounds mind-numbing to most of you; mind numbing and simple. And I admit it is not much in the realm of changing the world or transforming myself drastically, but it is something small and doable that can only help me become a better version of myself. My goal is to prove to myself that I can accomplish this small task of organization, which has always been my own personal Goliath.

So, this is my plan—Wish me luck!

Read other articles by Sarah Muir