Get Through This Semester

5 Of The Best Tips For Thriving, Not Just Surviving, The Rest Of The Semester

Because we all know it's getting rough.

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We've reached that point in the semester where every student is stressed, exhausted, and on the verge of a breakdown. There's nothing worse than having a ton of work to do but absolutely no energy or motivation to get it done. It's SO important to keep yourself from getting burned out. But with these tips, you can ace this semester while keeping your mental and physical health intact.

1. Start your day with some light exercise

It may seem impossible to make time to exercise when your schedule is packed, but moving your body first thing in the morning will seriously do wonders to wake you up and prepare you for a busy day. Take some time in the morning to relax, reflect, and be in tune with yourself before you head out into the world to tackle your responsibilities! Your mind and body will thank you.

2. Go to bed and wake up earlier

Your energy and productivity will soar when you have a solid sleep schedule! Even when schoolwork is piling up, try to close your laptop and get to bed early. Then, wake up earlier in the morning to get a head-start on a productive day! You'll get much more work done once you've had a good night's rest.

3. Be sure to eat healthy

The food you eat really does affect the way you function. If you want to be at your best, you have to eat well! Eating healthy will make you feel better, give you more energy, and help you make the most out of each day. Even though it can be hard to give up the classic college meals of chicken nuggets and pizza, you'll be better off later on if you start making healthy choices now.

4. Focus on your mental health, too

Sometimes, your mental health can get lost in the craziness of schoolwork and other responsibilities, but it really is the most important thing. Nothing else in your life matters as much as your personal well-being. It's so important to always put your physical and mental health before a deadline, a grade, or a project. It can be hard to prioritize your health sometimes, but in the end, you'll be glad you did!

5. Don't forget to make some "me" time

Although your studies should always come before your social engagements, you'll go crazy if you don't have some fun every once in a while. In between your classes and homework, be sure to have some "me" time. Go out with friends, watch a few episodes of your favorite show, read a few chapters of that book you've been wanting to read, or have a one-person dance party in your room! You're only young once, so don't forget to have fun!!!

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The Burning Of Notre Dame Has Actually Strengthened My Catholic Faith

Corinthians 5:17 says, "Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

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Every year, Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week in the Christian faith. As the most sacred time of the year, those who believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins hold these days dear in our hearts. 2019's Palm Sunday, however, is now held in infamy. The very next day, the precious Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris started to burn.

As the world now knows, the famed and historic Notre-Dame de Paris was spontaneously engulfed in flames on April 15, 2019. The cause has not yet been identified precisely but is most likely due to complications during the $6.8 million renovations the cathedral is currently under. Completed back in 1345, the nearly 800-year-old church has withstood the test of time relatively well.

Until now.

The modern world watched as one of the biggest treasures of the past burned away before our eyes, Twitter even erupted in an unprecedented coverage of this world-wide tragedy as many took to social media to pour their condolences and share memories of this French icon. Religion, race and personal beliefs aside, the world collectively grieved and lent support.

While this is truly a loss on a global scale, the blow comes as a particularly harsh one to the Catholic community after a particularly difficult season of Lent. From the Pope addressing allegations of sexual assault, to backlash over the controversial theatrical release of the film "Unplanned", this latest development seemed like a cruel joke in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. I myself felt affected by this fire hundred of thousand miles away in North Carolina. One of our most beloved holy churches was ebbing away in front of us and all God could do was watch.

However, despite all that, we must look forward.

Despite much of the church being reduced to ash, some of the priceless artifacts and objects that were hidden away in the cathedral have been able to survive the ordeal; such as the crown of thorns, numerous pieces of art, the rose windows, the altar cross shown above and the iconic bells of Notre Dame. Once news of this broke out, I was strengthed to my core knowing God was indeed there.

It seems like such an oxymoron to see such a tragedy as a sign of hope, yet the Bible itself is full of those. The 7 plagues that tormented Eygpt, the Great Flood, and even the death of Christ as examples.

As children of Christ, we are told at a very young age to never question his plan. He is all knowing and has a way of making everything fall into place. God sensed that Catholics were in the midst of a troubling time and brought us this opportunity of a new beginning. The burning taking place during Holy Week can also be taken as perfect timing.

The whole premise of this week revolves around the death of Jesus at the hands of Pontius Pilate, yet miraculously returned three days later before joining Our Father in Heaven, the cathedral can very well do the same and return better than before.

It is a devastating loss but already we are seeing evidence of joyous aftermath. As I noted before, people from all walks of life are offering support and condolences to a faith they were scorning just a week prior. Priceless artifacts have miraculously been recovered and plans for rebuilding have already started. This is a sign of a new beginning, that God is backing us through it all.

Do not question His plan, just have faith. The rest will fall into place.

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How I Found My Voice Through Storytelling

"I have always been captivated by the power of good stories because they connect people to one another and enrich our experience of life. For this reason, I write my story every day."

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Storytelling is an art that is at the core of our humanity and it has been a passion of mine from a young age. Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by the narratives of my family. The practicality of my dad's voice rings in my ears when he shares the lessons he learned from my grandfather. I can still visualize the vivid tales conjured up by my grandmother, whose words had a magical essence that made them seem surreal. These distinct moments are like video clips that are ingrained in my memory to this day.

My parents and grandparents always took pride in sharing their stories with me, and I was eager to learn about the traditions of our family history. Growing up in this environment completely influenced the person that I am today. It had finally occurred to me when I was a little bit older that not everyone had the same relationship to their ancestral past that I did. Not everyone had insight of into the life shaping experiences that affected their loved ones. Not everyone knew their story.

I thought that was the worst thing in the world. I tried to imagine a life in which I didn't know my story or where I came from. Without this information, it was difficult for me to identify a purpose. From the perspective of my life, my story is attached to my drive to succeed. These components of my identity are entwined like fibers of the common thread that ties humanity together. I have always been captivated by the power of good stories because they connect people to one another and enrich our experience of life. For this reason, I write my story every day.

To the people who haven't discovered where they want to go in life or how they plan on getting there, start writing your story. Even if you have no where to start, just pick up the pen and start writing about where you envision your future. Create your purpose, manifest your ideas, and you will begin to become your narrative. Above all, be prepared to use your voice because the best way to add meaning to your work is to share it with others.

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