For this Throwback Tuesday, let’s revisit some sage advice from Sarah Blum about meditation and mindfulness, written in 2019.
I cannot remember a time when starting a new year of school or a new semester did not stress me out. There is actually a picture of me on my first day of kindergarten SOBBING because I was so scared to go to class. I would love to go back and tell that kindergarten me that she had it good, but I digress. School has always been synonymous with stress for me. I was determined to challenge that idea before spring semester started, and now that we’re a few weeks in, I have to say – things feel different. I don’t look at my calendar and see a bunch of daunting due dates staring back at me or toss and turn all night thinking about how much work I have to do the next day. I wish I could tell you that I flipped a switch and suddenly I wasn’t stressed, but unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that. There were no switches or magic spells, and I don’t think there will ever be a time when I can say I’m not stressed at all. But, I have learned that stress can be managed by being a little more mindful.
“I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”
I’d always seen this adage as a humorous brush-off for a particularly stressful situation or a blatant excuse to put off some pressing matter. But as we progress deeper into the spring semester, I’ve come to understand that this maxim isn’t about procrastination; it’s actually an incredibly useful mindset to maintain when going about your college days.
We’ve all been there: you’ve got so many tabs open on your computer that you run the risk of crashing the entire eduroam network. You set down your phone for a minute or two, only to pick it up again and see you’ve gotten upwards of 20 emails. The convenient ability of professors to publish every single due date on Canvas is simultaneously super helpful and the stuff of nightmares as your planner grows all the more incoherent with scribbled to-do’s and reminders.
It is the start of the spring semester and almost two months into a new year. That means “new me” goals are being made and New Year’s Resolutions are being broken. Working out more or spending less time on our phones may have been among some of those soon-to-be-forgotten resolutions. However, it is the start of a new semester and many of us may take time to set our semesterly goals.
As Honors students, we tend to aim high when setting our goals, but some of these goals may take a tumble once the semester gets busy. We set our goals too high, or make them too broad, so when it comes to actually achieving them, they become unrealistic (I know, for me, the latter is where I tend to struggle when goal-setting). But don’t fret! I have a few tips on how to set and keep your goals for the semester by walking you through how I have done so for myself.
After coming back from a long winter break, it can be difficult to settle back into your college life for the spring semester. You might be working to understand the structure of your courses, ranging from note-taking techniques to exam schedules. Or shifting your job schedule to work around weekly class times. Or trying to at least somewhat normalize your sleep habits. Or maybe, you’re struggling with all of the above.
This semester, along with a rigorous course load, I will be returning to my positions as a Peer Consultant at the Career Center, Treasurer for the Indian Student Association, and Secretary for Active Minds. In addition to those leadership roles, I continue to be an active member of Women in Business, the Accounting Students Association, and of course, the ever-engaging Honors blog. I’m sure that many of you, if not all, can relate to the endless accumulation of things to do that constantly flows through these types of schedules. For me, each semester starts off frantically as I try to figure out how to efficiently manage all of my different roles and responsibilities. And for me, the key is organization.
There comes a point in everyone’s life when they question why they started what they did in the first place. Why did I choose to do this? What was I thinking?
As a first-year Honors student, I know how stressful and intimidating it can be to start this new chapter of your life during a global pandemic. While the world is fighting to keep people alive, you are fighting your own battles with virtual education and extracurriculars. And trust me, I know it’s not easy no matter what anyone else tells you.
Honors students tend to be high achievers, setting high, possibly even unrealistic, goals for themselves. And while staying so focused on getting to the finish line, it’s easy to forget where the race even began. They begin to blindly run towards an unclear destination. And I don’t want to sit here and tell you that the journey to achieve your goals is easy and to just stay focused on your target, because if I did, I would be lying. The path of life is far from easy–but it’s not impossible. Continue reading