Dear Me,

As the year comes to a close, look back on all that you have done. Don’t just scroll through your Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat memories. Think about all of the good, the bad, and the struggles that have plagued you. With those struggles, think about how you persevered and (somehow) made it through to where you are now.

With this new year, think about how you can learn from the previous year. You must find new ways to grow, both professionally and mentally. There were times in the past year when you felt a sense of dread, and kept falling down a dark hole. Try as you might to reach up towards the light, you simply always felt that it was out of reach. You felt that you could never catch up with everything and everyone around you, in the competition of life.

Please don’t repeat the mistakes of being in over your head. Take things one step at a time, and try not to overwhelm yourself.

Please take time for yourself this year to take care of yourself. I know your anxiety tells you to complete every task and experience every opportunity all at once, but not taking time to get proper rest and mental recharge time only will set you up for failure.

Also, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of all the resources that your university, especially academic coaching. You are paying to attend university for many reasons, with receiving an education (and a piece of paper proving that you completed that education) being the most important reason.

Next, take time to disconnect from your phone for some time each week. You tried this when you were studying for finals this semester and it worked wonders to help you focus. The almost magnetic force that your hands felt toward your phone and how easily it fits into your hands in many different situations — frustration, struggle, or simply boredom — amazed you. This year, try making your study spaces, such as the library, a zone where your phone is turned off and your distracting website blocking program on your computer is set up, before walking into those spaces.

Finally, please actually stick to writing in a journal on a regular basis. Someday, you will want to be going through your belongings and find out about how your life has changed since this time in your life.

You deserve to be happy this year.

Please try to take care of yourself more often this year. Every time there is an incredible amount of work or studying at the last minute, please don't let the mantra of "sleep can happen later, GPA is forever" cycle through your head. Getting more sleep in order to carry out my daily responsibilities would help tremendously. Happy New Year!