The Juggling Act of Being a College Student

Balance. A simple term defined as "a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. " Seems simple right? Not as easy as it sounds.

College is a long, challenging process of constant trial and error. An amusement park ride jam-packed with highs, lows, abrupt turns, and jams. No matter how overwhelmed or unenthused were feeling, a key part to maintaining your well-being is learning balance.

Learning to balance your social life, your academics, your family life that may distant, and your overall well-being can be challenging. I am most definitely not a pro at tackling all challenges of college, but Id like to think I've learned a few tips and tricks that have never failed to help get me by and keep my balance on the rocky road of college.

1. Be Selfish

No, I do not mean don't share your clothes or food with your roommate and friends. In the most simplistic terms I mean that it is okay to focus on yourself. So often it is easy to get wrapped up in trying to please others because we spend almost all of our time being surrounded by our peers, sisters, roommates, professors, and just people in general, that it's okay to take time to just be alone with YOU. It's actually scientifically proven to help reduce anxiety and stress levels.

2. Get Involved, but Not Too Much

This is where some of us start to load a trillion and one different things on our plates because we want to be the perfect student and save the children, feed the hungry, and get straight A's at the same time. It's not entirely possible. We're not superheroes, were barely adults. Instead, invest the time you realistically have into things that you are passionate about.

3. Sleep and Food ARE Key

You may think that there isn't enough time in the day, but you need to learn how to manage that time. A vital part of your day should be taking care of your body. We are over-stressed, sleep-deprived college students who are just trying to make it from class to class and test to test without falling apart. However, naps and nutrients are vital to keeping our bodies going otherwise, we are going to crash. Catch up on that extra sleep you need, and have a snack while you're cracking down on Bio. It'll pay off.

4. Enjoy Yourself

Many of us forget that these are basically the last 4 years of our lives where we get to make mistakes and still be able to use the excuse that we're just "young dumb kids", because after graduation a young dumb mistake becomes a career-ending blow. As great as it is to spend our time getting involved and grinding in the library, its also just as important to let ourselves relax. Spend the weekend dancing on grimy frat house floors with your friends, ordering Dominos at 1 am, and shuffling to get breakfast the next morning in an oversized groutfit because our time is limited, and we should make the most of it.

5. Dont Be Afraid to Let it Out Every Now and Then

If you ask any college student how they're doing, the most common answers lie along the lines of "hey, Im alive", "I didnt skip any classes today, thats a start", or "Why am I here?". It is 1000% okay to hit that point of "ugh". The one where you sleep through your 3 alarms for your 8 am, cry on the phone to your mom after you failed a test because your life and career is over, or stuff your face with McDonalds because who do you need to impress anyway. We're all human, no one expects us to be perfect.

This is all where balance comes in. When all the crazy, different elements of college life can be handled in almost equal proportions. And if they're not, its okay too. Balance isn't about having it all right, its about learning how to let it all go and be okay. Tackling one thing at a time and taking it one day at a time.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Nike Controversy that Makes no Sense

Nike has been facing backlash recently, for reasons I just cannot understand.


Nike recently released a plus sized workout clothing line, equipped with beautiful plus size mannequins to advertise their brand. Instead of many in the fitness community rejoicing in this milestone, Nike is facing criticism because people believe that Nike is portraying unhealthy weight standards to their customers.

These individuals believe that the size that is portrayed by Nike's mannequins is obese, and as a result, is telling others that being a size like that is okay. Yet, the mannequins that are usually portrayed in Nike's stores, rarely represent body types of real people.

As I read these comments, I thought to myself – are these people crazy? Think about the men and women who have spent months, maybe even years, trying to lose enough weight just to fit into Nike's plus sized brand! As well, bigger women deserve clothes to work out in. It should not matter if they are "obese" they are working towards a healthier lifestyle.

The backlash being faced by Nike is the mentality that prevents many from even joining a gym. I can completely understand the fear an individual experiences when entering the gym, surrounded by people who look like fitness gods, and you feel like everybody is judging you. As if you do not belong in a gym.

I will never understand how creating more barriers for individuals will motivate others to exercise. In my own opinion, attractive workout clothes are more than enough to motivate me to get to the gym!

Do not let the mentality of fat-shaming, and others fear of a little jiggle prevent you from flaunting Nike's new style, and creating a healthier lifestyle for you

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