Down to the dollar: A guilty winter break


Counting my dollars was already tough. But today, I’m counting my minutes, and that might be an even worse fate. 

I pride myself on my ability to pace myself. Plugging in Google Calendar events, updating my agenda and calculating my budget are ingrained in my college routine. While occasionally exhausting, I do this in order to maximize the time I spend watching TV and generally enjoying myself.

But for the first time in a remarkably long time, I have truly slipped behind. I sit in absolute dread as I write this piece over a full day past its due date. 

My editor counted on me to deliver the first timely and well-executed column of the semester. In fact, I recount my editor telling me not to push it with an already extended deadline. (Sorry, Brendan!) 

As I slope toward the latter half of my junior year, I can’t help but connect my current disappointment with the lingering guilt I feel over how I spent winter break. 

Readers of my column might remember that I agonize in anticipation over accurately forecasting my Lehigh expenses. Part of those calculations included working over the holidays. 

Last summer, I ruminated over planning and calculating incurring expenses for the upcoming year. Past me would be pained to see I didn’t carry out a big part of the plan. That being, I didn’t do any paid work over the break. 

It hurts. 

Obviously, it sucks not to have a little extra change. But what has hurt my pride the most is I didn’t follow through with the plan I set for myself. 

When I decided I wouldn’t work, I took it as my opportunity to recharge for the upcoming semester — to decompress from three months of hustle and prepare for another semester of grinding. As I watched my deadline slowly slip by, I was struck by my own shortcomings. 

Regardless of this, I’m certain I will repair the breach of trust with my editor (forgive me, editor), stay faithful to my commitments (stare vigilantly at my planner) and continue to practice good health (eat and sleep at regular times). 

Without time for reflection, it would be easy to push back all my impending expectations and say, “oh, what’s one more day.”

Luckily, I’ve learned the hard way — especially by ignoring notifications from the eBill suite — that being accountable is the most respected trait I will feel in myself. 

My editor will forgive me, my color-coded schedule will come to fruition in some way and things will pan out okay. The world will not end because I fell short, even if it feels like that to me. Down to the dollar, I will make it work. 


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