5 takeaways from semester social media break

We all have our own methods of preparing before finals and allowing ample time for studying. Students do all types of things that range from taking less hours at work, to literally cutting off all social interaction until they finish their last final. As a junior in college (time flies, don't it?) I wanted to make sure my fall semester ended in success. Between school, work, and a social life, I, like many college individuals find it hard to balance all three sections of our life that can decide our future. I found myself applying less time to social media, public interaction, and even recreational activity (like video games) to ensure exceptional grades at the end of the semester. Because of this, I unintentionally found myself on a break from social media for the months of November and December. Oddly enough, even though the break seemed short, I still learned A LOT about myself and the benefits of taking a break from constantly being up-to-date with the world. Here are five major things I learned from taking a much needed social media break.

5. Sometimes you need to put parts of your life on hold to enrich another.

As stated previously, balancing the usual three major aspects of your life (school, work, and social) can be pretty difficult. As I get older I find myself asking more and more "Why isn't there more hours in the day?" Between doing your daily duties to ensure a successful future post college and sleeping, finding enough time to complete everything becomes a chore. Because of this, sometimes you may need to pause a part of life to make sure the others are growing the way they should. Ever since high school, I've been dead set on making sure my grades come first, followed by work, then my social life. In college, I'm sure most of us find that the first two usually come above everything else. Note that if you fail to wish everyone a happy birthday on Facebook it's not necessarily your fault. Your close friends and family should understand that we're all human, and sometimes priorities come in the way of certain interaction. It's OK to retreat in your own space. Do what you gotta do so you can make sure you have enough time for everyone in the future.

4. Plan accordingly.

Planning has become a major part in my life ever since I realized college is not a joke. (So you know, like day one of freshman year) Making sure you separate your time and focus on the most important things first is essential to success in the world. This semester I nearly became a professional at handing in assignments on time and barely missing any classes. Of course, it came with many days of going to sleep at 3AM and waking up at 8, but I definitely look back and say it was worth it based on the success I feel. If you put in the effort to do well, you will do well. Planning is literally half of the game. Take some time to head to Target and buy a planner for your upcoming semester. Schedule due dates, appointments, interviews, or whatever you need to ensure your success for the coming months. Organization is key, and comes in handy for much more than you may know.

3. People are watching.

OK wait, I didn't mean to sound so ominous. Let's explain this one. I remember growing up on Facebook in high school and dreading every time a family member somehow decoded the website and found my page. Not only were family members keeping an eye on me, but I also learned that potential jobs and internships were looking at our social media pages as well. As I was never necessarily the boldest individual online, I was always conscious about what I presented on my pages and the success of my friends based on theirs. When you disconnect yourself, you feel less pressure to keep up with everything going on around you. You may visit the sites occasionally to get the latest news updates and hear the latest songs, but watching everything from a distance while you focus on yourself feels good sometimes. Remove yourself. Sometimes knowing that you're out of everyone's perception feels good.

2. Not everyone needs to know what you're doing.

As I become older, I start to realize how dependent I used to be on updating my feeds about literally every good thing I had done. It's good to broadcast your projects and successes, but not everyone needs to know what you're doing 100% of the time. When you update your feed constantly you leave no room surprise or privacy. Sometimes you become so set on sharing everything you're doing, that you forget to take a look back and revel in it yourself. Look at the work you've done and see how far you've come. Enjoy what you do or have done first, before you allow everyone else to do so. Leave room for people to be amazed when you tell them about your projects, or progress in anything you do. Surprise is good, and it lets people know that even when you're not posting, you're still working hard on something that will forward your future.

1. Your opinion matters the most.

The opinions of others can sometimes be poisonous. It can change your individuality, and force yourself to adjust to the standards of others around you. When I used to post almost everyday, I became so worried about what others thought of me that literally every single update I had was constantly spellchecked, posted at a certain time, and made sure that it was relevant to my successes and friends around me. When you manage to find the confidence in your self and disregard the opinions of others, the feeling is liberating. As individuals we put so much emphasis on how we are perceived, that we forget to do what makes us happy. When you live for yourself instead of the recognition of others, you find more time for personal growth and you'd be amazed at what that can do for you. When you step back from platforms that are solely based on the opinions and ideals of others, you realize that your opinion is the only one who can either empower or destroy you. If you are passionate about something, be proud of it. Then if you are proud of it, share it so you can help others around you grow as well.

Taking time away from something like social media can be much more of a benefit than you think. As I may be contradicting myself when I say this next sentence (because I just preached about not posting every success), I managed to secure internships for fall and spring semesters, a GPA to be proud of, and my drivers license (finally) because I took a step back from being so involved in the public that I was able to set my mind to goals, and fly beyond them. As it is a vital resource and does much to connect our world, that does not mean social media can sometimes be a detriment. If you ever need a break, don't be afraid to do so. Working on yourself is the best thing you can do and who knows, you may even be amazed out the outcome.

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