Reflecting on my Junior Year

 In Honesty, Compassion, and Respect, Random Thoughts

A year filled with academic pressure, loads of anxiety, and obstacles to overcome: that was my junior year. Unfortunately, this past school year was without a doubt, one of the most stressful and difficult. The hours of studying and homework, on top of test prep and thinking about college drained me– mentally and emotionally. Worse yet, the anxiety I was experiencing was so extreme it even impacted my health. However, knowing that life won’t get any easier, I am beyond thankful for having experienced and enduring these stressful times. There is no better way to learn about yourself than having to grapple with challenges and battling through them. I’d like to share what helped me cope with my anxiety and what I learned about myself with you, my community, and especially with my peers.  Maybe what helps me, can help you. 

  1. Planning each day with flexibility and variability
  2. Exercising or being active physically at least once a day
  3. Socializing and connecting with others in order to avoid being isolated and grumpy 
  4. Being open to other people’s feedback, but ultimately being your own judge.
  5. And lastly and most importantly, rather than obsessing over perfection, we should strive for progression. 

 

  1. Healthy & Balanced Planning: Flexibility & Priority

I am an extremely detailed planner when it comes to scheduling and organizing my days. But personally, being a scrupulous planner has not always benefited me: sometimes, planning makes me inflexible and upset when my preset schedule changes abruptly. However, there is an extent to which I must arrange my day to feel organized, productive, and to effectively complete any task. This year, it was challenging for me to find the balance between when I should stick to my plan or when I should go with the flow. For example, I discovered that abandoning a social outing to study because I have a test the next day is not worth it. Hanging out with my friends and taking a break from the stress will put you at ease, thus improve focus and/or test performance all together. It is also important to remain flexible for others and allot time to those you care for. Deviating from your plan to grab coffee or lunch with a close friend or do someone a favor is extremely enriching and rewarding. In my experience, I planned far too rigidly, seldom making time to socialize with my friends (besides studying together). Because I was so busy with school work in the evening, family dinners were reserved for weekends only. I would refuse to sit at the dinner table with my parents so I could continue working. This mistake is one I regret, as the conversations families have at the dinner table— whether it be sharing events, news, or funny stories— bring a nice and relaxing close to each day. Even having a short, 15-minute conversation arouses good feelings.  Your well being and overall health are the main elements around which you should schedule each day. Balancing your time between working, relaxing, socializing, and spending time with family is an every day necessity. When you make your plan, don’t obsess too much over the details: there is always a way to get things done if your day shifts.

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