Keep Calm and Watch Sherlock

Originally published on May 1, 2012 on Beyond the Elms: Scripps College Career Planning & Resources Blog. 

I never have a good feeling about a week when my planner’s lines are too thick to squeeze in all my obligations, even when I use 0.5 mm lead in my mechanical pencil instead of 0.7.

This week was one of those weeks. Actually, now that I mention it, last week was one of those weeks. And I’m pretty darn certain that every week until blissful summer arrives is going to be one of those weeks.

While professors are demanding essays now, suggesting you think about your next essay due in a week, oh yeah, and don’t forget to start studying for the final – it can be hard on your nerves. My time management wasn’t helped by the fact that my friend introduced me to Sherlock just as my extra time was dissipating.

I found the motivation within me to postpone Sherlock until my commitments have been met, but it seems like every time I turn around a new commitment sneaks up behind me.

“Boo!” the commitment cackles. “I know you were planning on spending Friday afternoon with your boyfriend, but come in for a job interview instead!”

And, as my nerves knot up just a little bit tighter, I smile and reply, “Sure!”

Why? Because I genuinely want to be doing all that I’m doing. I’m not in a class I don’t like, and I want every job I’m applying for. But my refusal to say no to opportunities can sometimes lead to my planner getting so jumbled up that I can’t keep up with them all.

Case in point: I am in the middle of a six-day period in which I have three job interviews. Wednesday morning, I have a phone interview for a summer internship. (I’d hoped I would have summer plans nailed down by now!) Last Friday, I interviewed for a tutoring job on campus for next school year. And this Thursday, I’m interviewing for another on-campus position.

Even at this moment my nerves are screaming at me to spend more time preparing for my interviews instead of writing this. “You’ve never had a phone interview before!” they’re warning me. “You won’t have any visuals to distract from the number of times you say ‘uh’ in a sentence!”

But, because my nerves have screamed some variation of this at me before every job interview I’ve ever had, I know I’ll be okay. And I know that sometimes all my nerves need is a little distraction.

So, mimicking the professional and collected tone I’ll use on the phone tomorrow, I confidently reply to my nerves, “Keep calm and watch a Sherlock.”

And that is exactly what I plan to do.

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