Knowing when not to say “no”

View of Manhattan from's not all work.

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn…it’s not all work.

Last semester I took only four classes and had few extracurricular activities, but that was more than enough. Endless group project meetings and Stats/Econ problem sets kept me beyond busy and struggling to keep my head above water. You would think that when planning my activities for this semester I would have taken into account my trials and tribulations from last semester and paired back my responsibilities. I did the opposite.

I kept my course load to 13 credit-hours, but instead of one massive semester-long project (Sustainable New York City ) I now have two (Business Plan Social Enterprise in Senegal; Implementation Plan for Scaling Up Community Health Workers in Mozambique). I am now the president of the New Media Task Force, a student organization whose mission is to educate SIPA students about the importance new media for international development. I took a part-time work-study job with the Earth Institute managing the social media for the Millennium Villages Project. Oh, and I joined a group of students selected (from 8-15 other student groups*) to represent Columbia at the National Invitational Public Policy Challenge. The competition is the weekend before spring break in Philadelphia and a 10-15 page proposal (I should probably be writing that instead of writing this blog post…positive procrastination?) is due on Monday.

Despite the workload, I’m having a blast. Still, I’m looking forward to an uneventful spring break (after the Public Policy Challenge, of course) and the long bike ride I plan to take on March 18…eight days and counting.

*Don’t ask.


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