During spring break this past semester, I already knew that my finals week was going to be very stressful. Thus, I made the decision to write my articles for Odyssey ahead of time. Luckily or perhaps unfortunately for me so much had happened in my life leading up to spring break that I had a lot of material to base my articles on. However, with saying that, as I write this article right now, it has been a solid month and a half since I have sat down to write an article.

To be honest, it feels really nice to come back to my laptop and type away how I have been feeling lately. For one, the end of my semester was hectic, to say the least. It consisted of finishing up my exams, driving back and forth from the city to campus in order to attend both my sister’s and a lot of my friend’s graduation and coming to terms with what a crazy semester and school year it has been.

After finishing my sophomore year, I feel like I have gotten to know myself in so many new ways. So much of our lives is people telling us that we still have so much to learn and so I am grateful for this past school year for giving to me the challenges and joys that it did. I feel like I know myself a lot better now and there is a great sense of comfort that comes with this feeling.

With that said, something that I learned quite recently and would like to take the time to highlight is listening and caring for myself. After school ended and I watched my friends walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, I thought that I would be incredibly overjoyed for them and for myself. However, for a couple days after graduation, I was really sad and didn’t want to do anything. I literally laid in bed for two days just thinking to myself why was I feeling this way.

This is when listening to myself came in. Instead of being hard on myself for lying in bed for two days and not doing anything but watch YouTube videos, I did some self-reflection. I paused and sincerely asked myself why I was feeling so down. I came up with a couple answers.

One, my boyfriend had graduated and knowing that I wasn’t going to see him on campus every day made me want to sit on my bed and cry.

Secondly, my grandparents were town and seeing that I do not have the best relationship with them, hiding out in my room seemed to be my solution to avoiding them.

Thirdly, I knew that my depression-like symptoms may stem from my PMS. Last but certainly not least, I knew that my body was reacting this way because I was simply exhausted. As mentioned before, the ending to my semester was incredibly chaotic and I think this was my body and mind’s way of telling me that I need to relax.

This brings me to taking care of myself.

See, once you have self-reflected and understood why you are feeling the way that you are, you have to do something about it. For me, that meant taking a couple of days to truly relax and recover. It also meant encouraging myself to get up and do things when I knew I was ready to. Even when I was feeling a little better, I still took it easy. I danced a little bit, put on a face mask, got a haircut and overall had a relaxing day.

Being able to listen to my body and take care of myself is something that I am very happy I learned this semester. It honestly is a lot harder than people make it seem because so often we jump to conclusions, even if it is about ourselves.