A down-to-earth look at the busiest First year on commons

This is Gabrielle Blackburn.

Her response to hearing about the random events on campus most of us ignore?

“Oh that’s really cool, let me try that. Oh that really cool, let me do that. And so i have a

tendency to get veryinvolved very quickly...Tango club’s on my calendar. It doesn’t mean I go every week, because sometimes it’s not in the cards. But, because I wanted to learn how to dance tango, I do these things because it makes me happy.

The Google Calendar

“So you know how the background is white, and then the default things you add are blue? Its like 90% blue. Yea,  the only white is between 11pm and 9am. But, I’m okay with that… it changes week to week… I’ve been trying to keep it all in my head but there’s like no way…  so i actually started using (an agenda) and it changed my life.

I switched to google calendar so I can see everything… it’s all in my phone, so if someone like, when are you free?, I can say, Monday at 7… scheduling things, and being intentional about how you use your time. If being in all these things is what you want then you have to be willing to make sacrifices of things you consider less important.

Is it for you?

I don’t think you should try to cram yourself full or join 8 billion clubs just to join 8 billion clubs. I was talking about this with someone earlier and she said There’s no need to have a resume which can bench press the weight of all your hopes and dreams. There’s not reason to fill up your time if that’s not what you want you want to do and is going to make you satisfied.

I am not someone who watches Netflix, but some people like having an hour of just chill watching a show in their day. It has to do with what fulfills you; what you can reasonably do and still be a functioning human being, because that’s also really important

(Gabrielle then laughed) 

Because sometimes I forget that too.

There’s no point in being in every club if you’re not present, its not meaningful to you… It’s better even just from a resume standpoint. It’s better to have something that you’re invested in rather than something to check another box, take up another line.

How to Juggle a full google calendar, friendships and self


Taking a moment

So I’m trying to be very intentional about it (self care). Today I stopped doing my work, took a long shower, did a face mask. It was like, okay, I feel better.

I feel like that’s my biggest form of self care, when like, I mess up, when i forget somethings, when I let someone down. I try not to beat myself up over it; I’m like, okay this is what i have to do next time to be successful… I’d say improvement is growth.


Life hack: schedule meals with people. ‘Cuz then you get to see friends you wouldn’t see otherwise and someone holds you responsible for making sure you don’t forget to eat. You have to eat anyway, so you may as well make it friendship time.

One of my friends has all her social media in her phone in a folder, its called time wasters and i love that…. Its not a replacement for real interaction  with people. So if I’m gonna having fulfilling, full friendships its not going to be liking everyone’s Instagram post, its gonna be texting “hey when are you free for lunch this week”. So i have a running list of people in my phone of people I want to eat food with in the near future and I thought I was the only one… (she is not; I myself have one).


If a friendship is important, you’ll make time for it. And this is a side note, but I’m not going to put effort into spending time with people who don’t want to put an effort into spending time with me…. It’s okay to let something go if that friendship isn’t meaningful and the other person isn’t willing to meet in the middle. I’d rather focus on..those really good people that  add things to my life. It’s the same thing as like having a resume that can… there’s no point in having a resume that is miles long but not deep. So I feel the same way about friendships as I do about that.


Its easy to fool yourself, like yea I’m doing fine, or lie to yourself and be like yea, 5 hours of sleep is plenty of sleep for me. So if you have something objective telling you (she showed me an app she uses), like, no you only slept this much last night, that was dumb. THAT’S helpful.

I am a person who needs more than average amount of sleep to function, like some people are good on 6 hours a night; I am not one of those people, but I’ve also recognized that, so sometimes I have to say no i cant go out tonight, like, rain check, next time I’ll go out, but tonight I need to take care of myself.


I try to journal because if I just go go go go go, I don’t have time to process all the things that are happening, and when its things that involve my relationships with other people, I want to work through everything in my head, and so physically writing it down forces me to  actually think about it, because if I just do it mentally, its like, okay THAT’S done, even if I didn’t actually work on myself… 


I found out in High school that if I wanted to keep doing all the things I was doing -(like not die of not sleeping)- if i wanted to keep that level of involvement, I had to maximize my efficiency. Its such a nerdy thing, it sounds so dumb, but choosing if I want to be able to be apart of this organization, if I want to work on this show, I need to not watch Netflix. I need to not be on my phone that dead time between classes; I need to be working on my stats homework instead of just sitting there on my phone until the professor shows up.


I’d like to think I’m pretty self aware… we’re in this time of transition, becoming real adults. (I’m) working on that process of being more responsible and taking care of myself.

I’m also optimistic to a fault, so sometimes I’m like yea, yea I can do 4 things in 1 evening, and I get to the first one, and I’m like I’m going to go home, and do my homework as soon as possible and go to sleep. This GBM for something isn’t… i can prioritize something else, I can prioritize my own health.

Her final message

“I believe in everybody. I believe in you you can do it.”


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