Balance

Balance

The Juggling Act of Being a College Student
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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.


Cover Image Credit: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/6-tips-work-life-balance-for-people-with-big-dreams-2/

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

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. 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 there are some stuck in the gray area of 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're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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5 Reasons Being A Night Owl Is Noetic And 5 Reasons Being An Early Bird Is Actually Better

"What matters is that you find a lifestyle that fits your needs and provides you with the healthiest lifestyle."

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Morning versus night. Light against dark. Good battling evil. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the point.

Chances are, you are either the type of person who loves to roll out of bed and tackle the day or you're the person forever pushing snooze and cursing at your clock. If you're that first person, you probably also adhere to a strict bedtime sometime before 10 p.m. Or, in the case of that second person, you may burn the lamp oil well into the midnight hour (or 3 a.m.). It's just the reality of life: some are early risers… and some are not.

You probably wonder how on Earth people do things the other way, too. Well, lucky for you I've put together a list of five reasons people enjoy being "a morning person" as well as five reasons others embrace being "a night owl."

5 Reasons To Be "Early Riser"

1. Rise and shine!

There's something about the sun pouring into my window that wakes me up and tells my body it's time to start the day. I feel most productive if I get out of bed nice and early because for me, sleeping in leads to a lazy day. Early risers just have it in their blood.

2. Everything's better with a cup o' Joe.

I'm a huge fan of coffee and tea, and it seems the best time to enjoy those warm, comforting, caffeinated beverages is in the morning or early afternoon. Even decaf keeps me up, so coffee at night just isn't right for me.

3. Open for business!

It's nearly impossible to take care of most day-to-day tasks if you aren't up and at 'em during daylight hours. Whether it's grocery shopping or an annual physical with your doctor, you've got to be an early riser so you are available during the day to get things done.

4. Peak productivity happens during daylight hours.

Studies show that peak productivity time for adults occurs from 8 a.m until around 2 p.m . After this time, a human's ability to function at high levels starts dropping. You might feel like you are still achieving your goals at night, but science says the opposite is true.

5. The night is full of fright.

The later I stay up at night, the more I struggle with gloominess and reminders that the day is almost over and all of a sudden I get this I-literally-didn't-do-anything-today feeling. This furthers my inability to sleep and begins a cycle of emotional dysregulation that is hard to break. By maintaining a schedule where I am asleep during most of the darkness and awake during the light, I better maintain mental stability. Being an early riser literally keeps me sane.

5 Reasons To Be "A Night Owl"

1. The creative juices flow in the night.

Nighttime has always been ideal for writing for me. When I'm writing at night, I feel most secure with myself, which allows the creative process to flow freely. I struggle to experience that same process during the day when I'm so busy completing other tasks. My writing excels because I am not an early riser.

2. Ambiance quiets the heart and soothes the soul.

Don't get me wrong, I love having the sunlight shine through my window and radiate off my face, but nothing calms me more than ambient lighting and a warm candle. That's peace to me. That's calm.

3. High school student… enough said!

Let's be honest here. While I love the nighttime for different reasons, the reason I'm even a night person in this first place is because I'm a high school student. The only time I have during the day to do anything at all related to my education is after dark counting the fact that I have so may different extracurricular going on. So, by default, I've been forced to enjoy that time, but now that I'm accustomed to it, I prefer it.

4. The hustle and bustle of daytime can be sensory overload for most.

I have a hard time working during the day. With the rush of cars, the sunlight and the natural hustle and bustle of a typical day, I am very easily distracted. After dark, there is no traffic, no sunlight, no distractions, and I'm finally able to settle into a peaceful atmosphere.

5. Nighttime provides the silence to sit with your thoughts.

When I lay down at night, I finally take the time to recap my day. It's the first time where my mind isn't already consumed by my to-do lists, my important tasks and everything else that I have to get done during the daylight hours.


As you can see, there's valid reasoning and even science on each type of person's side, early riser or not. Whether you are an early bird, a daytime dove or a night owl really doesn't matter. What matters is that you find a lifestyle that fits your needs and provides you with the healthiest lifestyle.

So, who are you? The morning person who jumps out of bed bright and early or the party animal who burns the midnight oil? Why does that lifestyle work for you?

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