Welcome to 2022! And a brand new semester. And a whole new year of triumphs, challenges, and goals. And for many of us, some of the stress that comes with all this new.
I’ve always found this time of year abnormally stressful. Something about trying to figure out a new class schedule, coming back to Boise from out-of-state, and, as mentioned above, just the newness of everything has had me feeling overwhelmed in the past. Walking and talking with other full-time students, I know that I’m not alone in this feeling of trying to piece things together. And while I am not immune to stress (my roommates who have had the privilege of hearing me complain will tell you all about it!), there’s a few things I’ve tried that have helped me make this time of year a little bit smoother.
First and foremost has been making time for things that you actually enjoy. In busy times of the year, it often feels like we should be constantly doing something to get ahead. In reality, sometimes doing what you actually like is what you need in order to be productive in doing the things you have to do. For me, that’s been sacrificing an hour or two each day to go running or biking along the Greenbelt. Or even doing something as simple as watching an episode of Survivor. By setting time aside for things I’ve actually enjoyed, it’s helped me be more productive when I am getting ready for school, work, or whatever else. You’re a human-being, not a human-doing and it’s pivotal to recognize that who you are and your interests beyond life’s necessities are completely valid and equally important!
And speaking of recognizing, one important thing I have come to grips with is that, yes, life and things may feel stressful in the moment, but it’s only after the fact do you recognize how short each chapter of your life is. I look back now at the beginning of my college experience or even high school and think, “Wow, I really wish I hadn’t stressed out so much about things back then.” You often don’t realize how simple (and maybe even silly?) some things are until long after the fact. The lesson here, take a deep breath, take a minute, and realize that although stress is inevitable, don’t make your future self regretful and take the fun and joy out of your life because of it. It’s just as important to find joy as it is to hit the ground running on a new semester.
This all said, take it easy on yourself and those in your life this time of year. New is challenging whoever and wherever you are, and in a world that seems to be always changing more than ever, we all deserve to give ourselves a little bit of grace. Here’s to a happy and healthy start of 2022, Broncos!