At the beginning of the year, during the spring semester, I took 16 hours and managed to somewhat keep up with my blog with the help of my friend Magdalena and, as always, Alice. Then this past Fall semester happened. At first, it was things happening in friends' lives and my little brother going off to college (here), then things started happening in my own life. Since spring semester had gone so well, I had the brilliant idea of taking 18 hours (12 of which belonged to English classes, which have a heavy reading load) on top of participating in more organization activities than I did last spring. I finally got my creative writing organization started, and I decided to rush a sorority on the spur of the moment. I also won my second year running as the President of the Ballroom Dance organization and became Mortar Board Alumni Chair. So yeah... it was a pretty stressful semester... to the point that close people who knew what was going on in my life (my boyfriend, some close friends, and my mom) began to worry about me.
For those of you just starting the college experience or who have yet to start, this is what the past semester has taught me:
Learn your limits and maintain them. No matter what you try to tell yourself later, don't push too far out of your comfort zone. A little bit is okay. It helps you learn time management and to keep growing, but too much and it's a health hazard. I'm normally a morning person, but I slept in a lot this past semester and never felt well rested, though I got more sleep than I usually do other semesters when I'm able to keep on top of my workload. Also keep in mind that classes get harder and more focused as you move up to the upper-level classes.
Know your priorities. If there's anything I'm grateful about this past semester, it's that I learned my priorities. Mid-October, I decided that I needed to make change if I was going to make it through the semester. I thought about what I wanted, and I decided to drop the sorority process. My English classes and the creative writing organization taught me that I don't need to go through a hazing process or bind myself to an officially recognized sisterhood to have a family. I do believe that if I stayed through the process, I would have enjoyed sorority life. The girls are amazing and really close-knit, but I can be friends with them even outside the sorority. I also decreased time spent on ballroom--hopefully, I'll be more involved next semester, but academics come first. And I had to give up on blogging for the semester. It sucked, but I had to cancel on a lot of promised posts for tours. Those who know me know that I absolutely hate, loathe, detest cancelling on people. I'm a person of my word, and it broke my heart having to cancel posts on all the amazing people I work with.
Value yourself and remember your friends. Don't stretch yourself too thin trying to keep up with the demands of all the people around you. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. That's what all your friends are there for. Of course, I don't recommend asking for too much on a habitual basis, but when your life is going crazy remember that there are people there to support you. I don't know how I would have gotten through this semester without my boyfriend and friends, who let me rant when I needed to and who cut me off and got me back on track when the craziness threatened to overwhelm my life.
I've spent the past couple weeks binge-reading and have posts scheduled practically throughout January, and I'm looking to try and find another reviewer for Imaginary Reads. I'm also hoping to get a little more personal with the blog and make Imaginary Chats more of a stable feature. And I'm only taking 15 hours next semester. These changes should help me maintain a more stable presence in the blogosphere for the next semester while maintaining a healthier, more stress-free life and not worry the people close to me to the extent that I have this past semester.
If you have any questions or additions, please post them in the comments section below!
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