A New Semester Has Arrived
Well for many individuals around the country, a new semester is arising. For any faculty member, higher education professional, student, teacher, or a combination of multiple roles, It’s the start of a busy hectic and stressful schedule.
For some, it’s a new experience in a dorm room a million miles away. A large adjustment that can be challenging to navigate. For some, it’s a start of enhancing education through a graduate program. For some, it’s another year educating others through classes or other forms of work.
Last year, I reminisced about my time as an undergraduate student and wrote about my top dorm room snacks and my top supplies to survive the next four years of your life. And one of my most popular blog posts to date was a post on things I would tell my freshman year self.
The article was intended to help others in their undergraduate paths, but as I re-read my own words the other day, I realized I needed my own advice as I begin graduate school.
It just might be one I reread frequently this semester just to remind me of things I can often let slip away in the midst of work.
As I start graduate classes, I am hoping for one thing for myself. That one thing is to continue to keep in-mind what’s truly important: the art of your well-being.
It’s one of the biggest reasons I've transitioned my career trajectory to wanting to become a college professor to wanting to work with students in a more student affairs/administrative role. I want to have a large impact on not only the academic aspect of higher education, but the other aspects such as student care and well-being, working directly with student-athletes, student transitional experience etc.
I’m a workaholic, I always aspire to be perfect, and I always want to be the best at what I do. However, I am learning to find balance in everything and the importance of living your life and not just being alive.
So... yes...I’m slightly terrified with my already packed schedule between classes and assistantship work. Slightly terrified by the fact all my courses this semester are research and theory based... Slightly fearful that I’m not going to succeed in coursework or my assistantship... slightly scared that I should have applied to a student affairs department instead of continuing my communications path... And slightly worried I won’t have time for myself.
However, I also know I’ve grown tremendously and am someone who learned to advocate for themselves. I am slightly improved on being willing to ask for help when needed. I also have learned what I struggle with in-terms of being a workaholic and struggling to say no. Being able to know this about myself has allowed me to communicate that struggle with others. There is beauty in being vulnerable and I know I have people around me that are already holding me accountable.
I will admit that I am pre-stressed before the actual stress kicks in and it’s something I am actively working on.
I have learned that sometimes I just need to go for a walk to get away, need to treat myself to a Starbucks run even when I hate spending money, and need to take the time to socialize with friends. I need to continue to find ways to rejuvenate myself, so that I can be my best self.
We are all a work-in-progress. Failure is never an end game. Perfection is not attainable. Mental, social, and physical well-being is a priority. Family and friends are everything.