You Are Worth More Than A Letter Grade

Putting Your Mental Health Over Academics And Other So Called 'Necessities' Should Be A Priority

You are worth more than a letter grade.

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Whether you're a freshman or a senior, a lot of people have a hard time adjusting to college . Winter and summer breaks are longer than you think, and going back to school with a new schedule, new routine, new goals, new classes, new/existing job, etc can be overwhelming.

It's hard to find time to just relax when you feel like you could be doing something more productive, but let me tell you that the time you have with yourself is crucial to be successful in college.

It's understandable that you want a job in college. You're broke. I'm broke. We're all broke. But when you are constantly struggling to be happy with yourself, and your life, you might just need to put that job on hold.

My first semester in college, I was so up and down with myself, and sometimes I feel that way still. I was looking for jobs every chance I could because I was struggling to pay off my monthly loan payments. Fortunately, I was able to get by last semester, but I was not putting myself first. I was sick all the time, lazy, unmotivated, and hated myself. However, in this next semester, part of me knew I needed a job to make sure my bank account was comfortable enough for me to last these next fifteen weeks.

But I recognized how unstable I was with myself last semester and knew I never wanted to feel like that again. And I knew that I wasn't mentally ready to handle something else in my schedule that would take time away from me. So, I designed my schedule to where I can fit in time for myself to go to the gym, listen to music, take care of myself, and relax. I'm not perfect, but I'm a lot happier than I used to be with myself.

I recommend having a stable job during the winter and summer breaks so you can save up for anything that you may need or want to do. Most universities provide you with a lot, so you won't need to pay for much. But if you're like me, you might just need to save some money for any outside necessities.

Please though, you need to be in a good place before you add in extracurriculars that are going to take time away from yourself.

Another big stresser that is inevitable is academics. We are all nervous about getting good grades and want to make the dean's list. Who doesn't? It's hard to really take care of yourself when you have so much on your plate, believe me, I know.

It sucks that it's life and we all have to learn to be adults. But when you put yourself first a little more than everything else, you're going to be great and better at anything thrown at you. Why? Because your crappy job will pass. Your grades will pass (that doesn't mean to not make them a priority), but make yourself a little bit more of a priority than your grades.

You have to live with yourself, and at the end of the day you want to feel good. If you're doing good, everything else will be. You'll see things more positively.

Now, this doesn't mean to go to the gym five times a day, seven days a week and not eat. It doesn't mean to be so consumed with yourself that you critique everything you do. If you don't have time to go to the gym or exercise, counter it with eating healthy and balanced. Do other things that make you happy, sit back, relax, and feel good. Feel better.

You don't have to feel great all the time. You're not going to so don't expect it. It could be close, but never perfect. You want to be balanced because those bad days, moods, and feelings allow you to really think about why you're feeling that way, and what the logic behind it is.

Trust me on this, you will feel a lot better, and look at things more positively when you start taking care and putting yourself first. Over everything. You will have a better connection with your body and eventually learn what it needs.

You are a priority, so make it happen.

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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