This is my own personal rendition of “new year, new me,” but on a smaller, more practical scale.
When they say “school is back in session” they should actually say “stress, sleep deprivation, and self-doubt are back in session.” This statement might not hold true for all, or many, but it holds true for me.
Thirteen credit hours is nothing I can’t handle. I am actually rather excited over my class load this semester. Quite frankly, I have never struggled with my grades or any of my classes. There are so many more elements to the “best four years of your life” that can impact your college experience thus turning it into “the most mediocre four years of your life.”
A new concept that I am attempting to grasp is that I am in control of those elements. I challenge all of my friends and family to take control of these elements of their life in the near future as well.
I have spent the past couple of years allowing every element of my life to weigh down on my shoulders. Instead of making changes in my life I attempted to buck up and bear the weight, and I’m seeing now how foolish I was.
If there is one thing that I want my readers to take away is that you are in control of your own happiness. This is obviously easier said than done, but here are few ways I plan to grab life by the you-know-whats.
Work your ass off but know when you’re working too much. Unfortunately, we need money to survive. Food costs money, fun costs money, and even simply residing in a home costs money. So you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you absolutely can’t cut back on hours at work, what do you do? Trust me when I say that I feel your pain. If your part-time job, or full-time job is the element that is dragging you down YOU can make a change. There are so many employment opportunities available today that are waiting to be pursued. If your desk job is driving you crazy, look into serving. If your retail job is too physically demanding, look for an office job. A lot of individuals are afraid to make a career change because that involves interviews, training, and a brand new set of coworkers and managers. A change of environment can work miracles on your attitude, and the mastering of a new craft is definitely more rewarding than dragging yourself into the front door of a job that you despise.
With what free time you have surround yourself with people who will make you better. Many of us waste a ridiculous amount of time on friendships and relationships that have absolutely no benefit. The hard part about this is that in order to determine the importance of a relationship or friendship we must first form a connection with that person. If the connection isn’t there, go no further. This is a red flag that your time is going to be wasted. So, how do you end a relationship that suddenly lost its benefit? You don’t have to end that friendship whatsoever. I encourage you to spend less time with friends who bring little-to-nothing to the table, and much more time with the friends who offer something to you. Allow me to explain that the “benefits” that I speak of can take many forms. Surround yourself with people who offer emotional support, a positive energy, selflessness, and other qualities that you would consider positive in a friend.
Selfishness is an ugly quality to have, but it is okay to focus on yourself from time to time. Work, school, relationships, physical health, etc. are all very important aspects of life. Mental health does not trump these aspects, but if it is not controlled it can handicap all other aspects of your life. If you lose focus of yourself and your happiness your work will become sloppy, your grades might drop, and friendships may fizzle away. A little patience mixed with understanding friends, family, and superiors allows you to focus on yourself when the time is needed. Whether that be taking an evening off to spend time with your significant other, or spending the weekend in because you are exhausted inside and/or out, we all have different methods of de-stressing. My favorite “personal day” consists of sleeping in, cleaning and organizing my apartment, and spending time with someone I love (disclaimer: sometimes that person is myself).
Challenge yourself to focus on yourself, surround yourself with great people, and know your limits when it comes to work. 2017 got off to a rocky start, but there’s no reason that the last three months can’t go silky smooth!