Thursday, November 12, 2015

How To: Stay Positive in College

When I first heard of "Sophomore Slump," I didn't think it would affect me that much. At the end of freshman year I felt like I had a pretty solid plan of what I would be studying after struggling with it so much for the whole year. As I am about halfway through my first quarter of sophomore year, I am definitely in a slump. Honestly, it really isn't a bad one, rather just a stressful speed bump in my motivation. I love most of my classes, so I am very motivated to do all of the work for them, but I really cannot stand Economics, so it's so much harder to actually sit down and force myself to study and do all of my homework. I do in fact get around to it, it just takes a lot longer.
Now that I've decided what I'm going to study and most likely major in (International Relations), I now have to think about what kind of a job I'll want in the future. It's really stressful, and all I want to do is avoid it all, lie down on my bed, and watch Gilmore Girls all day. Alas, that is not an option if I want to actually succeed in college, so I've been having to find ways to motivate myself and feel positive about my future. Since I've been thinking about it so much lately, I thought I should do a round up post of all of the things I've been doing! So, here goes; my guide to staying positive in college, and especially throughout the infamous "Sophomore Slump!"

1. Don't worry too much.
This is so easy to say, because if you are a gold medal stressor just like me, then you know how difficult it is to not worry about every little thing. I worry about how I'm doing in my classes, what classes I should be taking, what kind of a job I'll be able to get in the future, if my major is going to work out...the list goes on and on. Every college student can relate to this, because I'm sure these questions cross all of our minds about fifty times a day. At least. That's all well and good, but you can't let all of these things take over your life completely! when you find your mind circling back to the never ending cycle of "stress questions" think about something else, listen to some music, go work out, or just talk to your friends! Anything to get your mind off of stress that isn't needed is just fine. Unfortunately, we do have to think about these things quite a lot, but it isn't healthy when they start to take up all of our time.

2. Immerse yourself into the things you love.
In order to fill up your time with other things besides stressing, find something you love to do! That could be anything from joining a club, making new friends, reading a good book, exercising more, or picking up a new hobby. There really are a lot of options for finding things to do with your time, so just make a list! You don't have to go overboard and join five different clubs - just start out with little things so you get your schedule figured out.

3. Make a plan.
This could be anything from a life plan, to just planning out your week. I find when I have more structure in my life, I feel like I am in control, and that everything will be okay. It's when I'm sitting around wondering what I need to be doing that stress creeps up on me the worst, so when I have my whole week planned out, I feel so much better. It makes you feel more put together, which really helps out a lot. When you are on top of your homework for classes, you also know that you are most likely doing well in classes, which in turn makes you feel more secure about your future!

4. When it all gets to be too much, call loved ones.
We all have those days where the world seems like it's just pressing in and suffocating us, and when it gets to that point, call someone you can talk to anything about. I usually call my parents or talk to my best friends, because they will just sit there and listen to me, and offer advice when I am finally done talking about all of the things that are stressing me out. Oftentimes, just talking to someone about your worries helps, because your stress somehow feels more validated and under control. Talking through things has always helped me since I like to come up with solutions to problems as I'm talking them over with someone.

5. Look at the bigger picture.
You are at college, getting a higher education that not everyone has access to. That's pretty cool that you made it there! You are pursuing an education that will help you have a great career in whatever field you choose to go into. Sure, the stress seems like a lot now, but just think of how happy you'll be in the end! Graduation will be so rewarding, and when you get your dream job, it will all be worth it. Your hard work will pay off, and you will be so thankful you survived all of those all-nighters, early mornings, and dreaded finals to get you where you are supposed to be.

Alright, well there are all of the things that have been helping me to stay positive this year! I'm glad I'm not struggling with sophomore slump too much since I'm actually pretty busy this year, but it definitely hits me when I have too much free time on my hands!

How do you stay positive?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

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