We all have seasons of ups and downs. There are times where we can be thriving on the mountain and other times where we feel left in the pit. For me, this season has been tough trying to balance school and work while also having a burning fire for my passions. I realized after stopping writing articles for a few weeks that my mood started becoming less optimistic. I started wondering why I was so burnt out all the time, and the truth was that I wasn't focusing on what I loved. I let my academics and extracurriculars define me and lost sight of my focus. Rethinking about how I could get back on track, I used journaling as an outlet. Writing allowed me to let go and to start over. Now I have a rekindled passion for doing what I love.

Ever since fall break, I noticed myself feeling kind of off. I would let my inbox fill up with emails and started losing motivation for completing my homework. I stopped writing articles because I felt so overwhelmed by what I needed to get done during the week. What used to be exciting and something I looked forward to slowly became boring and taken off my to-do list. That's when I realized something was missing.

My passion had turned into an endless stream of tasks, and I was starting to drown. I felt like I could never get back to the top of where I was. Lack of motivation led to worse grades which made me less happy. How could I have made it here?

The truth was that I lost my fire, and the only way I could get it back was to take action. Instead of continuously lying around wondering how my circumstances could get better, I had to do something to improve. I started making goals for myself during the month and refocused on self-care. Knowing I needed to do well in academics, I made it a priority to get lots of sleep and eat healthier during the week. I started asking others how I could pray for them and found a sense of community with those around me. In fact, those people were the ones who motivated me to do better and encouraged me to take a break. Sometimes we have to take a few steps back before we can move forward again.

As someone who likes to have everything in order, I began fueling my passion by scheduling what I needed to prioritize. If I knew I had an assignment due the next day, I chose to focus on completing my work rather than watching a show on Netflix. On the other hand, if I was stuck on an economics problem for a number of hours, I knew I needed to take a break with self-care. Understanding balance has been a key lesson for me this semester. In the meantime, I've been taught wellbeing and satisfaction to feel 100 times better!