Falling Off Track in College

Back home I was super disciplined and lowkey had my life figured out. My mornings were something that I took immense pleasure in because they were structured and gave me clarity. I enjoyed waking up to the loud chirping of the birds and the beam of sunlight on my forehead that escaped between the curtains. I adored the moments leading up to drinking my morning cup of coffee as I got ready to journal, meditate, and workout.

Now, as a full-time college student, my mornings have been anything but structured. I really did try to maintain them the first week of college: I woke up at 5:00am every day, got a meditation and a workout in, didn’t skip breakfast – I was doing great at being an adult. However, starting from the second week of college, I just completely lost my structured morning routines – no longer sleeping enough, working out, eating. This has to do with the fact that I am now staying up WAY later than I’m used to because college is not just about academics. It’s also about our social lives and unfortunately for me, social interactions tend to be a lot more fun only post 10:00pm 😉.

I now wake up feeling burnt tf out – not just because I sleep later, but because college is so much work ya’ll. We have to study hard, make our own food, be social creatures, attend club meetings, keep up with extracurriculars, talk to our families, take care of ourselves physically AND mentally. It’s exhausting.

I catch myself feeling so freaking guilty and anxious when I have to skip meditating or working out because time does not allow for it or because my body is just so tired. I started hating on myself for failing to take care of myself. Meditation and exercise were my sources of therapy every day. It was during these allotted periods of time that I could let go of the world and just tap into myself. Therefore, no longer having those moments to myself is anxiety-provoking.

To cope with these newfound emotions due to the sudden change of routine and lifestyle I had to constantly remind myself of the following:

  1. Not everything can be planned for. Life is unpredictable and I cannot control every single situation.
  2. Sleep is just as important as meditation/exercise, so it’s okay if I skip a day or two if that means I get some extra hours of sleep in.
  3. I do not work out to look a certain way. I work out because of the way it makes me feel – internally. Don’t get caught up in this superficial BS that most college students are hung up on.
  4. The days I stayed up late to go party or meet up with people are filled with good memories! So don’t feel guilty for wanting to make the most of college and create amazing memories.

For any of you folks who may also be feeling something similar, just know that we’ll get through it. We’ll reflect back on our undergrad years and think “Damn, we squeezed the living life out of every opportunity that came our way and we worked our butts off, and we also had an immense amount of fun while doing so.”

Reflecting on My First Week of College

It has been nearly a week since college started, which means it has been a week since I left home and moved into my own apartment (I share it with 3 other girls, so it’s not like I’m entirely alone). I wanted to take the time to be vulnerable and share some of the ups and downs that I’ve had this week as a result of this change. 

First off, my college is only 20 minutes away from my home (thank God!), so it’s easy for me to go back home regularly and meet my family (homesickness is real ya’ll!). However, it’s the whole idea of transitioning into adulthood and learning to live on my own that has been scary. 

My high school calculus teacher actually sent me this article a couple days ago and I think it perfectly encapsulates everything that I’ve been feeling recently. 

College is drastically different from high school. There isn’t a set schedule everyday. You don’t meet the same people everyday. And if you live on your own, you have to make sure you feed yourself because your parents are no longer hounding you to take care of yourself. 

I’ve always been independent, but at the same time, I’m a HUGE homebody. Therefore, this week has been extremely stressful, anxiety-provoking, and very lonely. However, there were also moments of joy, laughter, and fulfillment. 

It’s hard being an adolescent. It’s hard trying to flutter through our daily lives and constantly wonder what is going to happen next. Will we be loved by our friends? Will we do well academically? Are we being validated? It’s hard, but that’s the point. There’s beauty in trying to find our way through both the internal and external struggles. Some days were so freaking hard when I was alone and didn’t have my brother nagging me to watch Netflix or my Mom yelling at me for something or my family eagerly waiting for me to play Catan with them. But it’s important to remember that we are social creatures and we need nurturing relationships with people (aside from our family). These relationships will be found in college. We just have to be patient and be willing to accept the change. 

I’m going to end this post by repeating what Lisa Sugarman said: 

“So, I’ll say the exact same thing to you that I said to my own daughters when they went off to school. Give it some time, be patient, and remember that putting yourself out there and taking risks can be the one thing that changes everything.”

Update on Catapult #4

I made the decision to catapult into the world of meditation on July 5th, 2021.

Here’s what I wrote on that day:

“So, I am going to TRY to do the Isha Kriya meditation at least once every day and we’ll see if I am able to keep this up for 3 months. 

My goal in catapulting myself into the world of meditation is to learn to think and feel broader than the boundaries set by my mind and body. I don’t think meditation will “cure” my anxious thoughts, but I do think it will help me become more aware and better at coping with them.”


Oh boy, I most definitely did not meditate once every day. Some days I straight up just forgot. Other days I got incredibly anxious that I’d have to sit down for 15 minutes and possibly fall off schedule, so I prioritized work over meditation (which is so terribly wrong because mental health comes before anything else!). There was also a week in July where I went to Florida for vacation and so, I did not make the time to meditate even though I had more than enough time to do so!

However, I have been a lot more regular with my meditation since the last couple of weeks (though I still have missed a few days).

Here are some of the things that I’ve discovered during the course of my super early meditative practice:

  1. My most effective meditations have been during the mornings. One day last week, I meditated at 5:30am and it was so freaking beautiful. Nature was in the phase of transforming to the daylight, but it was still trying to hide away from the light for as long as possible. And I just felt all of that energy as I sat down to meditate. Most days, I’ve been meditating at anywhere between 6:00-8:00am. I found that when I try to meditate at night, it is still a nice feeling, but I zone out a lot more easily compared to when I do it in the morning.
  2. The meditation that I practice is Sadhguru’s Isha Kriya (linked below). This is broken up into 3 stages: breath work, sound, and music. During the breath work stage, you have to inhale when Sadhguru repeats “I am not the body” and exhale when he says “I am not even the mind.” This keeps tripping me up because at times I catch myself thinking “If I’m neither the body or mind, then what the hell am I?” I’d appreciate any answers for this question!!
  3. I do think that I notice my anxious periods a lot more quickly after having done this meditation for a couple weeks now. However, I don’t know how to detach or stop myself from continuing to have those anxiety symptoms once I notice them. So, I guess I’m still working on that.

All in all, I am so far away from even tapping into a glimpse of what regular practice of meditation offers. However, the fact that I’m able to wake my ass up and take 15 minutes to sit in stillness in this fast-paced world already feels like a huge accomplished feat, so I’m going to cherish that.

I will continue to catapult into meditation and hopefully, one day will reach that point of ultimate enlightenment (will obviously keep ya’ll updated) 🙂

Chewing Gum and Anxiety

I hear my heartbeat in my ears and feel as though I’m not getting enough air to breathe in and out. My chest tightens and my throat closes. Sweat develops in my armpits, forming embarrassing sweat stains on my tshirts. Repeating: You’re okay. Just breathe. does nothing to alleviate my symptoms. 

This is when I remember to open up my backpack and grab a piece of EXTRA peppermint gum. I start chewing, and almost immediately my chest and throat open up. I no longer feel like I’m fighting to simply breathe. My heart is still rapidly beating, but it’s no longer pulsing in my ears and preventing me from focusing on the task at hand. 

Chewing gum is my go-to method for ensuring my anxiety does not spiral out of control. When I began to notice how my habit of chewing gum and anxiety were linked together, I did some quick research and found that there’s actually science that backs up this idea:

  • “A study out of Swinburne University found that people who chew gum while multitasking under stress had lower cortisol levels, reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and increased levels of alertness and performance. Another found that chewing gum can improve a negative mood, and increase levels of peace and calm.” – Inc.com
  • “The ancient Greeks and Mayans chewed on tree resin, while the first “chewing gum” was made in the 1800s from a type of rubber known as chicle (yup, the same stuff Chiclets were named after!). While today’s gum tastes a lot better, the ancient Greeks and Mayans may have been on to something— studies suggest the ancient chewers may have felt less stress than their non-gum-chewing counterparts” – Greatist

Keeping this evidence and my own personal experience in mind, it’s crucial to understand that gum does NOT cure anxiety – it only provides temporary relief. Additionally, just because this works for me and for some others, does NOT mean that it will have the same effects on you. 

Identifying a mechanism to help yourself bounce out of the anxious period – whether that be chewing gum, cold showers, running, etc. – can greatly improve your work ethic, mood, and enable you to attempt to remain in the present moment. 

Other mechanisms that help my anxiety (but are not as immediately accessible as chewing gum):

  • Walks in nature
  • Long showers
  • Driving with music or a podcast
  • Working out and sweating A LOT
  • Watching a movie with my family 
  • Writing/Blogging

Catapult #4

Isha Kriya Meditation

Life has been a whirlwind these past few months – especially since I’ve started my job as a medical scribe. My anxiety has peaked in ways never before, to the point where I struggle to sleep and work.

There have also been a lot of other things that I’ve been trying to complete. But as a perfectionist, I never feel satisfied and always feel like there is more to do, which inevitably leaves me feeling even more disappointed and fatigued.

I realized that I have immense ambitions that are underway and am excited about, but at the same time, I am identifying myself with these ambitions. More specifically, I am identifying myself with my thoughts.

Additionally, I’ve begun working out regularly for the past year and have started to eat more healthily in hopes of attaining my fitness goals. However, in this process, I’ve also started to identify with my body.

In essence, when we identify ourselves with our bodies and minds, we limit ourselves from experiencing life for what it is. This is still a concept that I’m trying to grasp because it still seems so unreal and existential, which is why I decided to embark on the Isha Kriya Meditation journey.

Sadhguru recommends that people do this meditation either twice a day for 48 days or once a day for 90 days. However, my life is so unpredictable at the moment and I don’t want to restrict myself with certain “deadlines” because that will simply cause me more anxiety.

So, I am going to TRY to do the Isha Kriya meditation at least once every day and we’ll see if I am able to keep this up for 3 months.

My goal in catapulting myself into the world of meditation is to learn to think and feel broader than the boundaries set by my mind and body. I don’t think meditation will “cure” my anxious thoughts, but I do think it will help me become more aware and better at coping with them.

I encourage you all to try this with me because then maybe we can connect together and discuss our spiritual findings after the 90 days are up 🙂

Less Anxious in Warmer Weather

This may sound trivial, but I’ve recently (meaning two days ago) realized how dependent my mood is on the weather. For the past couple of months, weather in NJ has been shitty to say the least. Spontaneous snow storms, cold nights, frosty mornings.

I remember when quarantine first started in March 2020, I was heavily dependent on my morning walks/jogs, afternoon bike rides, driveway workouts because these were the only ways for me to get out of my anxious head and focus on something else. I even slept with my windows open because feeling the energy of Nature made me feel less suffocated and more liberated. As November and December came rolling around, I was no longer able to continue those activities nor was I able to leave the windows open because the weather was not allowing me to. That’s when, I realized, my anxiety started spiraling.

I am in awe with the fact that my anxiety is far better when I am in contact with Nature. This explains why the winter months are sometimes exhausting to get through because I have no damn escape route.

These last 2 days, Mother Nature turned around and the weather has been absolutely beautiful. I’ve gone on hour long walks and absorbed all the energy radiating not only from Nature itself (the sun, trees, wind), but also from the other families I see and their kids running around chaotically. It’s remarkable and makes me feel so wholesome. I feel so much more connected to myself and the rest of the world.

After spending simply an hour outside, I find myself more ready to attend classes and do the same amount of mentally draining work without feeling so deeply anxious all the time.

Let me know if any of you feel the same way!