Looking back on my first semester of college, I can definitely say that I am not the same person as I was four months ago. I've gained responsibility, learned to make it to class on time, and made some memories to last forever. It hasn't been an easy ride, but I would not trade college for the world. In addition to being a busy student, I've also had to learn to slow down. While I want to tackle as many tasks as I can, sometimes we just have to say no.
1. Make time for yourself
Juggling classes, work, extracurriculars, and social life can be quite difficult if you have a lot on your plate. While I do not regret being involved on campus, I now understand the importance of making time for myself. The benefits of being mindful and present in the current moment has improved my mental health and overall well being. Sitting down every afternoon to have some "me" time has strengthened my relationships and reduced stress. Though I often get caught up in the everyday tasks of life, taking just half an hour to breathe and remind myself of life's blessings has allowed me to slow down. College can be about going out and networking, but it also means taking time to focus on yourself and the goals you have for your future.
2. Set goals and stick to them
Without setting goals, we all lose focus and sense of direction. Goal setting not only allows for us to take control of life's direction but also provides a benchmark for determining success. To make sure that a goal is motivating, make sure that it is important and valuable. An easy way for me to stay accountable with my goals is by writing them down on a sticky note as a visual reminder. There is no excuse for forgetting about a goal when I have it right in front of me. In addition to setting short and long-term goals, it can also be effective to write out an action plan. Write out individual steps to making progress, and you'll find joy while seeking improvement.
3. Learn from your mistakes
Admitting you're at fault and being accountable for wrong actions are two separate things. In order to learn from one's mistakes, we must do more than just say sorry and move on from the problem at hand. Instead, owning up to our wrongdoings and finding a solution to fix the problem shows responsibility and great respect. Though failure is inevitable, it is imperative for us to learn from our mistakes. I wouldn't be half the person I am today without falling on my face and getting back up to try again. Making mistakes allows us to live and learn, pushing ourselves to go out and change the world.
4. Find a support group
The relationships we have in our lives help to form who we are as a person. Surrounding myself with supportive friends this past semester has helped me learn who I want to be as a friend, student, sister, and community member. Supportive friends will be there through thick and thin no matter the situation. While we may not agree on every situation or opinion, it is important to have healthy friendships rooted in loyalty and trustworthiness. I find joy knowing that even when times get tough, true friends will stand by your side and be there until the very end. Find a support group who will listen to your problems and show that they care for you without any judgment.
5. Focus on the present moment
Living in the moment seems so simple, yet we often forget about where our time goes. Most people can say they are guilty of spending too much time on the phone or aimlessly planning for the future. Being present in the current moment enables us to be joyful gathering with friends and family. In order to do so, we must remove distractions and fully appreciate the moments we have to be with loved ones. One of my goals this holiday season is to stop worrying about the future and enjoy the time I have to be with my brothers and sisters. If we can only live one moment at a time, it might as well be the present one.