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My Life in E-mails

Posted by on Saturday, January 3, 2015 in Academics, College Life.

I remember back in middle school being so excited to get an e-mail address. My mom was apprehensive about it but I loved going online to write my friends an e-mail. Even though I would see them in school the next day, I loved changing with the font and color of my e-mail signature.

My signature from middle/high school. Yikes!

E-mail became relevant in high school when it was my gateway to getting information from colleges and universities that I was interested in. I would check it every single day when I got home from school and before going to bed as I waited for updates on the status of college applications and financial aid information.

Now, e-mail is on my to-do list every day and a priority task.

Among my many other class assignments, e-mails always make the top of my list. When I was a first-year student, no one warned me about the importance of e-mails in college and I was completely overwhelmed the first couple of weeks when I found myself spending almost 30 minutes every day going through and answering e-mails from different organizations I was interested in, e-mails about events on Commons and all around campus, and from my professors. I figured out the beauty of unsubscribing from those e-mails that I found myself consistently deleting and figured out how to use colored labels on Gmail to keep my e-mails organized and color-coded (just like my planner!).

A screenshot of some labels I use to stay organized.

Although it’s technically still winter break, the e-mails have resumed and have been re-prioritized given that the semester is right around the corner. Here’s a little peek into what my life in e-mails has been like for the past couple of days.

  • Class assignments: Two professors have already assigned reading for the first class of the semester. (They’re both 3-hour block classes so I understand them not wanting to waste the first class meeting).
  • Mail arrival notifications: My textbooks are in! Vanderbilt Mail Services sends out an e-mail when packages have arrived for students. I know what I’m going to be doing bright and early on Monday morning.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon: I signed up for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon a couple of days ago as part of my New Year resolution to keep a consistent work out schedule this year. I just got confirmation of my registration and I am SO excited!
  • Alternative Spring Break: I’ve been getting lots of e-mails from my participants for Where is the Love? and I am really looking forward to the weekly meetings we’ll be having in preparation for our service trip to Chicago in two months!

While e-mails are important because of their speed and the amount of content you can put in them and that wonderful  little button that lets you add attachments, I’ve found that setting aside a specific time of the day to check them and even turning the notifications on my phone off helps me tackle e-mails efficiently. It’s been nice not worrying about them so much lately but come Monday the to-do lists start once more. Spring 2015, I’m ready!

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