My first semester at Berkeley, I took 19 units. Sounds like a lot, but it wasn't really, because Chem 1a was easy after AP Chem, and Elementary Telugu - well, I could already speak, read, and write a little. It was nice, and I had time to go hang out with friends, explore the city, etc. Second semester was much the same, but with the addition of organic chemistry. But it was still okay.
Fall of sophomore year, I only took 17 units. Thing is, those 17 units comprised OChem, Bio, Physics, and Global Poverty. You know, easy classes that don't require you to spend multiple hours per class in lab and don't have much homework or reading or difficult midterms. Not at all.
Well, that plus all the time I had to spend for the ballroom dancing team meant I was constantly doing homework or reading or practicing cha cha or studying for a midterm.
"This porridge is too hot!" exclaimed Goldilocks.
So the next semester, I only put the porridge in the microwave for 13.5 seconds/units (the minimum). I quit ballroom as part of the mass exodus that occurred with those who joined our year (many factors, including politics, were involved here). 'Yay,' I thought. 'I have time to join a new club!' But now I had more time than I knew what to do with. I took the yongmudo P.E. class to replace the martial arts I had left at home. I did community service-type stuff with CalPIRG and the Berkeley Project. And still I was bored.
"This porridge is too cold," Goldilocks complained.
At some point, I managed to strike a balance. I realized that I'd much rather be busy than bored, and that I in fact work more efficiently when I am busy. I procrastinate more when I'm not, which leads to more stress even though I don't need to be stressed.
"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," sighed Goldilocks.
But this semester, my porridge is boiling again. And this time, I'm not sure I can get through it with swimming colors like last time. Two languages at the intermediate level, a neuroanatomy class with lab, psychology, and a reflection course for my practice, along with research for an honors thesis, yongmudo club, arranging sites for Berkeley Project day, and helping out with the salsa class. Oh, and by the way, I'm trying to take the General and Subject GRE tests and apply to grad school. You know, in my free time.
"Ouch, I think I burned my tongue!" cried Goldilocks.