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.”