A spoonful of strength makes the stress go down

While college is said to consist of some of the best years of our lives, it also contains some of the most stressful. Between taking multiple classes, having to meet deadlines and trying to maintain a certain grade point average, there is even more that goes on behind the scenes. 

Some people not only balance a full-time class schedule with their daily lives, but have to maintain a job to keep up with bills and make sure there is food on the table. As for me, being one of these people, juggling both of these important responsibilities can be quite exhausting. Even working part-time at a job like I do, sometimes I feel crunched for time when studying for class, or I feel overwhelmed at work to where I can’t perform the best.

All of this, including life’s other various struggles, can add extreme pressure to our lives and put us under a lot of stress. It can be overwhelming at times, and we may suffer mentally and physically. Speaking from my own experience, I have always quietly struggled when trying to maintain both my schoolwork and a job. I have transitioned from one semester to the next making mediocre grades while struggling to make ends meet.

Luckily, I have learned a few things about maintaining strength during these tough situations, and slowly I hope to make these rules a habit.

My spring semester of my freshman year of college was a time of struggle, but now I am able to look at it as an example of my progress. I was lazy and unmotivated, and always looked for a reason to not go to class. My grades suffered, as well as my mental health. During this time, I also had left my job to try and focus on school, and between this and trying to find another job shortly after, there seemed to be nothing but missed calls and suffering grades.

Slowly, I realized the changes I needed to make. Improving my time management and being proactive were the two biggest changes I made in my life after that semester. I fought to keep up with assignments and go to class every single day. Even if I woke up late, was in a bad mood or was struggling. I figured that at least attempting to go to class would make me feel as if I accomplished something for the day. I noticed a change in my grades the next semester, a positive one. For the first time in months, I felt motivated to keep moving forward.

Proactivity was my second main goal. Instead of waiting around for a single job to call me, I applied to multiple places, reached out and prepared a detailed resume and questions to ask at interviews. Right before my fall semester, I was able to find a job. I have been mindful that I work an appropriate amount to maintain my mental health, while still keeping up with bills.

Even when there are other struggles, I remind myself of the amazing support system I have. Being surrounded by such amazing family and friends gives me a lot of strength to run with. 

Counseling is a very important part of strength, even if some people do not realize it. Being able to talk about struggles and receive insight on the situation is helpful mentally, and mental strength is just as important as physical.

With all of the challenges that face me in the last four semesters of my college career, I hope to keep improving my proactivity and time management in my life. It can be hard to stay strong all the time, but that is okay.

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