I have a confession to make: last year was an incredibly rough year for me. In fact, the main reason that I didn’t do much blogging was because any blog post I would have authored threatened to be riddled with stress and negativity.
The year definitely had some high points: winning with my floor at Day of the Longboat, handing out awards plaques at the 2013 SLC, running my first triathlon, having dance parties in fellow advisors’ rooms, and going on a Seattle trip with my first boyfriend ever. But these wonderful moments were fleeting, and were overshadowed by the copious stressful moments in between.
Throughout the entire year, I was feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. I felt incapable within my multiple new leadership roles, and did not know how to manage my involvements effectively. I had conflicts with my coworkers due to my high stress levels. I was burnt out, exhausted, sleep-deprived, and sick almost every other week. I found myself frantically cramming before every midterm and final exam since I hadn’t made time to study. Life felt like a never-ending to-do list – in the time it took to cross off one item, another three had sprung up in its place.
After a lot of self-reflection over the summer, I realized that the reason I had been so stressed out this past year was because I was trying to make myself into someone I’m not. I was doing things because I thought that I should do them, and ignoring what I really wanted. I was pushing back tasks, waiting until they absolutely demanded my attention. I was neglecting my self-care, putting myself last in my priorities list. I was making myself unhappy.
So, this summer, I decided to make myself happy again. I bought a ukulele. I read books for fun. I started writing again. I had two jobs that I absolutely loved. I had life-changing volunteer experiences. I smiled and laughed as much as I could. I said yes to the things I wanted to do and said no to the things that I didn’t. And some days, I sat around and did nothing, without feeling guilty about it.
Now, with another school year peeking around the corner, I’ve never felt more prepared for a new beginning.
My point is, university will not always be sunshine and rainbows (despite what my blog may sometimes suggest). There will be times when you cry alone in your room. There will be times when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing or where you are going. There will be times when you will feel like a failure. There will be times when you feel as though you have gotten so far off-track that you will never get back on the right path again. There will be times when you are unhappy. But always remember to pick yourself up and keep on going, because your new beginning could be just around the corner.
Welcome to UBC, Class of 2017. You’re in for quite a ride.