I am UIC: On our to-do list

The lists we make are so funny when we come back to them weeks, months or years later. Perhaps the best record of a life may not be in the more subjective musings of one’s diary, but rather in the objective records of a compendium of to-do lists. They also likely represent the best versions of ourselves (what we wish to do rather than what actually occurs). My life has certainly been chronicled in them.

Another interesting aspect of to-do lists is the divide between those who revisit and cross off and those who do not. I belong to the latter category. I tend to think of to-do lists as places to organize thoughts and prepare for the day ahead of us. They function simultaneously as reminders through our daily routine.

On the other hand, reminder lists are records of anomalies, perhaps-the normal routine and something that we must remember to do. As we sit in trains and planes and cars and see space and time and life passing us by through the windows we have been assigned to, our imaginary to-do lists float about in the back of our minds. Some bullets are lost in the dark abyss of our brain, but some end up fulfilled. What separates these two? Perhaps it is a subconscious filtering, an anonymous and autonomous prioritization system.

To-do lists, which may seem like such trivial things, contain our hopes, dreams, goals, and wants. They do so at a micro-scale. They are a breakdown of our lives, insights in to the minutiae that we forget years later, a comforting reminder that, well, all of our lives are more or less hum-drum at worst. It’s nice to hope that if these little slips of paper were collected at the end of our journeys, they would paint a picture of a whole and fulfilled life.


Apoorva TummalaApoorva Tummala spends a large chunk of her time learning about biology, economics and life in general. She likes to think too much about everything and deeply believes that one day she will “own” a maltipoo and a German shepherd (they will be mutually loving relationships, not one-sided ownerships). You’re most likely to find her reading a book with a cup of tea in the evenings and going on adventures in the city during the day. She manages to fit research at the College of Medicine, work and studying somewhere in between these two favorite activities. During her time off, she likes to travel and immerse herself in different cultures and cuisines.

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