Being in college can feel really overwhelming, especially if you’re really involved and tend to take on more responsibilities than you probably should. It can feel like a crazy balancing act just to get through the day. Personally, I usually end the day tired and overwhelmed by how much I need to get done the next day. It is also easy to feel lost and unsure about how to move forward in your life.

I recently decided to shift my focus and really home in on my academic and career goals. I began to think seriously about what I need to do in order to graduate on time and what I could do to boost my resume so that when the time comes, graduate school and a career will not seem so unattainable.

I already put in the work in my classes to get good grades, but it is important to me to maintain a high GPA and do well in my classes, so that goal was reaffirmed. I also became a DENIN ambassador to get experience in environmental event planning and advocacy, which will be great experience for me as an environmental studies major. The biggest change I made was accepting a research position for the spring and summer, in which I will be working with a professor to analyze climatic effects on agriculture, and which will not only be great experience but also will fulfill my field experience requirement, which I need in order to graduate.

Admittedly, I feel a bit out of my element and overwhelmed by this position and juggling it with all the other things in my schedule. But I cannot deny that as soon as a shifted my focus to career and academics and set my intentions to find a research internship position, the opportunity presented itself to me perfectly. I also believe that as long as I put in the work, this position will benefit me in so many ways and I am grateful for the opportunity to work on such important and advanced research. It is important for me to get out of my comfort zone and take new opportunities as they come my way, and I also believe that focusing on my career will be more beneficial for me in the long-run than focusing on less consequential aspects of my life.

Finding a balance where I can still have a social life and be involved in Greek life and clubs, but also put a lot of attention into my academic work and start a research position is difficult. There are days when I feel incredibly overwhelmed and stressed. But ultimately it will be worthwhile, and this shift of focus will help me achieve my ambitions. I decided I did not want to waste time anymore and that, while I made it a priority to still take care of myself, I did not want to content myself with just focusing on college without thinking of the future. My future is fast-approaching, and I plan on being ready for every twist and turn.

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