And then there were none

We all have our “To-Do” lists. We may not always have them written down, but even the least organized of us at least has some idea of what needs to be done in the immediate future. When I was in elementary school, I had a “daily planner” that was basically just a giant grid with the days of the week along the top and subjects on the side, with inspirational quotes and fun facts written in the margins. Every day the students would copy the homework from the board into our daily planner, and the teacher would sign it if we had copied it correctly.
For some reason, this was mandatory in my elementary school, but in middle school I kept using daily planners out of habit. It was easy to see what was happening that week, and the curriculum was structured so similar to elementary school that I used the same kind of planners I had in elementary school. The teachers no longer cared whether I had written down the assignments, if at all, but it was a way for me to stay organized. I even kept using the daily planner in high school, even though classes changed half way through the semester. It was easier to keep track of long term assignments that way.
In college, however, the daily planners met their end. With some classes only happening once a week, it became ridiculous to keep a table of days and subjects when it could be better represented as a calendar with homework assignments written on it.
Honestly, I thought that without the “To-Do” list, I’d wind up forgetting things. And to some extent that’s true. But honestly, I think I’ve done a lot more without a “To-Do” list than I ever did with one. Although this could be a product of having more opportunities in college than in high school, I think that without a constant list of things I felt obligated to do, I was free to focus on things I felt I should do, but that weren’t completely necessary.
For example, I became a Teaching Assistant for Design III. While this did take a lot of time, (9 hours a week minimum) I’ve learned more about the topics in Design III than I did when I took the class two years ago. It’s also taught me a lot about interacting with people, and given me contact with a lot of students I would never have met normally.