I Don’t Know How I Survived this Semester, But I Did It

The end of the semester is finally here, and as I sit here and reflect on everything that has happened, I am more than happy to go back home.

I had a bright, optimistic vision about this semester. I was going to make straight A’s, be more active in my clubs and organizations and flourish as person. However, as things began to start rolling and the first day of classes hit me, I realized that vision was gone out the window.

To start with, the first day of spring semester always falls on my birthday week. I thought my week would be full of fun and drunkenness, but instead it was full of stress and tears. I found myself crying on my 20th birthday about life in general-- boys, grades, my future, etc. I swore I had the worst birthday week I could imagine.

Then we got to February and when I thought things would get better, they just stayed the same. I was bombarded with assignments every day and exams about every week. My insomnia had hit its peak and I found myself tossing and turning every night because my anxiety would not let me sleep. I was a complete zombie on top of being a workaholic who stayed at her job more than 20 hours a week. I wasn’t sure about the person I was becoming.

March hits, and I believe that’s when all hell broke loose. I felt myself giving up. Procrastination took over my mind. I was the type of person who jumped on an assignment two weeks before it’s due, but this semester, I found myself doing things hours before its due (including this article). I stopped going to class because I could barely get myself out of bed. On top of that, I gained weight from first semester, so my energy levels were crap.

I could feel myself hitting rock bottom.

Finally April arrives and I feel things getting better. I gained 23 sisters becoming a woman of AKA and with that came popularity on campus. I am not the type of person who likes a lot of attention, but it seemed where ever I walked on campus, people stopped and spoke to me or waved. This new found popularity was so new to me, but it was also exhausting because I felt that I had to have this certain image now that I was Greek. It was like I couldn’t get a damn break.

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Now we are in May, and I find myself playing catch up. My grades this semester weren’t bad in the eyes of a regular college student, but I’m so full of myself that I just felt that they weren’t where I needed them to be. I had somewhat isolated my family and friends and I just hated the direction my personal life was going.

Then I realized what my issue was this whole semester: I’m just too damn hard on myself.

Not once this semester did any of my overall grades fall below a B. I got the opportunity to join my dream sorority and also become a leader within it. I also worked my ass off to support myself through the school year. I just couldn’t understand why I felt it wasn’t enough.

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Then it hit me. It’s because I set too high standards for myself. I expect things to go my way and that’s not how it is. I have to learn to go with the flow and be happy with any outcome that happens. I need to learn patience and gain confidence in myself. Every time I have a failure, I need to learn how to turn it into an opportunity to get better.

But the most important lesson I have learned thus far is that I have to put myself first through it all. I cannot save everyone and be the hero when things are crumbling down. My mental, physical and emotional health matters and I’m just as important as the others around me.

And even though I can’t wait for finals to be over so I can be back in Richmond with my friends and family, I’m going to miss everything about this semester. It made me a stronger person and I’m proud of who I am. So cheers to Spring 2018 - you stressed me the hell out, but you also made me appreciate myself as a human being.