I'll admit, I really struggle with change and new beginnings.
At the start of each year, I come back to school excited to be with my best friends, and I always feel optimistic about what the coming year will hold. But as reality sets in and I look at my class schedule and the syllabi that accompany it, I begin to feel so anxious and overwhelmed about getting back into a routine and completing all of the things I need to.
"HOW am I going to do all of this, and still make time for myself and the things I love? AND have a job? AND spend time with friends? AND get stellar grades? AND workout and eat healthy and call my mom and keep all of my relationships in check and pet that cute dog and stay sane while doing all of it?!?"
I always freak myself out into thinking that it's not possible, but at the end of the day, I know it can be done. How do I (try my best to) achieve this, you may ask? My answer: life is one big balancing act.
I am such an advocate for living a life that I am proud of. I place great emphasis on getting my homework done and studying hard for that exam, but nothing matters to me more than actually making sure I am enjoying my life to the fullest, ALL of the time. College is our time, people. Whenever I am on the fence about doing something, whether it be something as small as going to get ice cream with the girls even when I have six hours of homework ahead, destressing by getting that workout in or applying for that leadership position, I challenge myself to channel my inner 'Nike' and JUST DO IT. And here's why.
If it's between making a memory or getting 3% better on an exam, hands down I will choose making that memory every single time. Look at it this way: when you're thirty and flirty and thriving (where my 13 Going On 30 peeps at, though!?), YOU AREN'T GOING TO REMEMBER STUDYING FOR YOUR CHEMISTRY EXAM. GO DO SOMETHING. GO BE WILD and FUN. KISS THAT BOY. EAT THAT BOWL OF PASTA. HAVE THAT TWO HOUR HEART TO HEART WITH YOUR BESTIE. There's way more to life than the 60 math problems you have due tomorrow morning.
I am totally not telling you to skip studying for that exam and just go to the party instead. What I am telling you is if you can, put in effort where the effort is due, in multiple different places. If we focus all of our attention on one specific thing, we miss out on so many other wonderful things that are going on around us. School is important. Friends are important. Family is important. Having a social life is important. Those clubs are important. Your physical and mental health are important. Practicing balance in your life and not overwhelming yourself by being hyper-focused on only one thing is crucial to living the most fulfilling life we can.
Often times, when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, my initial reaction is to immediately call my mom. She somehow always knows the right things to say in order to calm me down. A few days ago, I called this lovely woman, absolutely sobbing about how overwhelmed I was, and she told me this: "Honey, you always get through it. God sends us small little gifts a million times each day, but it's up to us to recognize them. Focus on those. Focus your attention more heavily on the positive things that are happening all around you all day long." As soon as she said that, I realized how right she truly is. A lot of times, I am so stressed out about what I "should" be doing, when really, I should be focusing more positively on everything that is going well for me that day. Take time to reflect, whether you're walking in between classes or laying in bed at night. As soon as we begin to shift our thinking to a more positive outlook, the anxiety within us will subside. In turn, we will be more able to focus on what we need to without feeling like we have to do it all at once.
If you haven't paid attention to any single thing I have said above, pay attention to this. College is a busy, fun, stressful and crazy time. But from what I've heard, it is hands down the best time of our lives. Don't ruin it by driving yourself crazy. Do the best you can in everything you do, and leave it at that. Find that balance. Do something for yourself today that you normally wouldn't. Life is short. Life is beautiful. Let's live it to the fullest... EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.