Bad Fall Semester? This Is How To Make Spring Better

Bad Fall Semester? This Is How To Make Spring Better

One learnable trait will equip you to thrive in every area of life this semester.


Maybe you had a bad fall semester. Perhaps you struggled to stay afloat in a swamp of stress and homesickness, causing your grades and well-being to suffer. The fall semester might have been challenging, but I have fantastic news: it's over. The beginning of the spring semester is your chance to start fresh habits and practice new success strategies. Your absolutely indispensable tool to thrive in every area of life this semester is resilience.

Resilience, according to the American Psychology Association, is "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress … it means 'bouncing back' from difficult experiences."

College students confront stressful, draining experiences nearly every day. At times, college life is a trudge through caffeine-fueled study sessions and dead-end jobs. Unexpected financial problems and scheduling conflicts lurk in the background, ready to ambush college students at the most inconvenient times. In order to stabilize the precarious balance of our lives and emotions, we need resilience to act as a "shock absorber," according to psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer.

"If cars didn't have shock absorbers, every ride would be a miserable experience," states Marmer in a video for PragerU. "The ride through life without shock absorbers -- that is, resilience -- would be the same."

Marmer continues, "So, without building resilience, [otherwise] your own internal shock absorbers, it's not possible to lead a happy and productive life."

Therefore, to process the emotional challenges stemming from the college experience, you must become resilient. Fortunately, resilience is a learnable trait; you can build resilience by practicing specific habits and thinking patterns.

When faced with a difficult situation, Marmer recommends first adjusting your perspective. "Step back and assess your situation with as much objectivity as you can," he suggests. Consider the worst possible outcome of the situation, and then evaluate its severity and likelihood. "Usually you'll discover the worst thing isn't that bad," says Marmer, "and isn't even likely to happen."

Another crucial habit to fuel healthy perspectives is gratitude. According to therapist Ryan Engelstad, most people are "more familiar with and focused on the obstacles holding them back instead of the resources enabling them to succeed." This common attitude discourages progress and growth. Contrarily, by fostering a grateful attitude, you can reframe a difficult situation as a challenge you are equipped to handle rather than a hardship you are victimized by. You can take charge of your thoughts before they spiral out of control and magnify the situation beyond a reasonable scale.

Journaling is my favorite way to practice gratitude. Every day, I dedicate a few minutes, a fresh notebook page, and a beautiful black pen to scribbling down my thoughts. Listing people, events, and opportunities that I'm grateful for makes me feel more content. Better yet, it calms down my brain and helps me relax. This makes stressors drastically easier to deal with and strengthens resilience.

Finally, to those building their resilience, Marmer offers blunt advice. "Toughen up," he says. "You need to push yourself.

Stretching your comfort zone is uncomfortable. That's the point; destroy the idea that it will be easy. Sticking out this discomfort builds mental toughness, developing the resilience to handle life's many discomforts.

Life challenges everyone, college students included. At times, college life presents emotionally difficult situations which require resilience to handle. Unfortunately, college life can prove mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. However, the new semester is your chance to begin practicing resilience -- equipping yourself for personal and academic success in the process.

Popular Right Now

10 TV Shows That Can Replace 'The Office' On Netflix By 2021



Netflix has done it again. Created a mass panic. But this time the reason is not that "Friends" is being taken down or renewed for a giant price.

No, this time it is much worse.

Netflix has said in just TWO short years, it is likely NBC will be taking 'The Office' down. I know, it is unthinkable. What else are we suppose to rewatch a hundred times and quote endlessly? You cannot simply take Michael Scott off of Netflix.

The best thing to ever happen was for Netflix to put "The Office", they made it popular again. And you @ me on that. But now they are removing it. I guess we will just have to watch other shows now.

Find other shows on Netflix to watch and to fill the void that NBC is creating for us.

1. There are none.

2. There are none.

3. There are none.

4. There are none.

5. There are none.

6. There are none.

7. There are none.

8. There are none.

9. There are none.

10. There are none.

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!


So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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