I strongly believe that we all go through phases in life. The stereotypical phases like the tomboy, the naive teenager, the wild freshman in college… but also personal phases during which we make changes to ourselves and the way we exist. Alongside that, there are certain transitional points in our lives that also contribute to the changes that occur throughout our lives. At this point in my own life, i'm at a super pivotal moment and I've been considering my lifestyle as more than just a phase. I want more than anything to hang onto being a young person and all of the fun that is to be had, but I'm also learning to become the best version of myself that I can as I start to think about becoming an adult.

I'll be honest, this hope doesn't grow past just that. I've been existing as a messy, indecisive, spontaneous college student, who is hungry for all of the knowledge and crazy times the world has to offer. That being said, I've been compiling a list of things I want to do for myself to usher myself into a more mature headspace. Heading home for the summer, I have every intention to be a better me and this is how I'm going to do it.

When tackling any new situation, my first order of business is to get everything else in my life straightened out so that I can devote my everything to the task at hand. In this situation, that pertains to my material existence. The organization is key. As I pack up my life here at my university and head home for the summer I have made a tremendous effort to go through my belongings and donate everything I don't need to those who are less fortunate. Not only has this cleared out a ton of car space, but it's also really good karma. And I intend to do the same thing when I get home. Sift through everything, donate things I have no use for anymore, and reorganize my space at home, giving myself a clean blank slate going into the summer. Also on the matter of the material, I am going to rule out as many non-sustainable habits as I can. Plastic straws? You can get metal ones on Amazon for super cheap. Disposable water bottles? I don't go anywhere without my hydro flask. Looking for new summer clothes or cosmetics? Try sustainable, non-cruelty brands. Reduce your carbon footprint, walk or ride your bike! Little changes can better our world and change your habits for the better.

Once i've reduced, reused, and recycled, I will undoubtedly have a clean space and mindset to make some more changes. First off, assessing my physical state and making changes where necessary. Already, I know I'm going to do my best to reverse my nutrition, replacing the unhealthy cravings I've satisfied all school year with healthier alternatives and drinking WAY more water. I know I'm going to try and do my best to cut back on the amount of heat I use on my hair and the amount of makeup I put on my face. I'm vowing to take vitamins. We only get one body and the only person who can help make it the best it can be is you. I've really taken this to heart recently… We spend so much time and energy trying to make ourselves look better then we really are when in reality if we put a little more effort into improving ourselves from the inside out, we wouldn't have to put nearly as much effort in when it's time to look our best.

Just as significantly as my physical health, I'm going to make an effort to improve my mental health. I'm in no way mentally unhealthy, I am very happy with my world and the people I have let into it; however, I think there are a lot of things that I can change about how I go through my life that will keep me grounded and headstrong. Journaling!!! I did this a lot first semester, mostly as a way to procrastinate but I really got an idea of how much it helps get your thoughts in line. Also, exercise!! Spending time outside and moving never fails to put me in a good mood. If it's not fun why do it right? I really believe this is the best way to determine what is serving you and what isn't. Doing little things that make me happy like painting, running a fancy bubble bath, and cooking yummy meals helps me to step away from anything that's bothering me or stressing me out and clear my head.

Self-reflection has been huge in my life recently. We all do our best every day to make the healthiest of decisions, but as we grow and change its important to pause and reevaluate what is most important. Being your best self is great… but I think we all have to remember that we are human and it's okay to not be your best. Sometimes just throwing caution to the wind and remembering that everything in moderation is our best and that's okay.