In high school, I wasn’t the super involved student I am today. I was on the video production team, I served as an ally in Gay-Straight Alliance, and I was a member of the German Club. After taking care of my mother during her cancer treatment my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to get a fresh start in college. In my freshman year, I decided to join Her Campus and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I made lifelong friends and got great experience in writing. In my sophomore year of college, I took a leave of absence due to a new job that took a majority of my time and energy. This experience was full of highs and lows, and I didn’t have the energy to put my heart into Her Campus.
When COVID-19 reached the United States in March 2020, I knew this was a sign to take a break from everything and focus on my mental health. One month earlier, I had a mental breakdown after an article I put 40 hours into was pulled at the last minute, as the subject of the article changed their mind about publishing at the last minute. It was heartbreaking to see all my hard work gone in a flash, and there was nothing to be done about it.
In my junior year of college, I decided to join Student Government. I have a political science minor and wanted to gain some experience in administration affairs (not to mention knowing everything the school did in response to COVID weeks before the student body). This experience was extremely valuable, but by the end of the year, I was ready to take a break and have the summer to myself.
Over the Summer, I took time for myself and got ready for my senior year. The first two weeks of my senior year were spent working at the Minnesota State Fair, which consisted of working 12 hour days for a week straight. When I went back to school, I realized I was involved in several organizations, more than I realized. Around a dozen to be exact. I loved being involved, but I began to realize I stretched myself too thin and had to start cutting back.
So, with the first half of the semester over, here are some words of advice for the over-involved students who are on the verge of a breakdown.
- Find time to recharge: Now, this can differ between people. As an extrovert, I need to be around people to regain my positive energy, but introverts need their alone time to decompress. Whichever one you identify with, schedule some time to spend with friends or stay at home and watch your favorite TV show.
- Reach out if you are struggling: There is a stigma against therapy, but everyone can benefit from speaking to a therapist. Even if you don’t have a diagnosed mental illness, talking about the things that cause you to stress in life can take a big weight off your shoulders.
- Know that you’re not alone: When you feel overwhelmed by stress and responsibilities, thoughts of isolation and loneliness are not far behind. Whatever situation you are dealing with has most likely been experienced before, and they made it through to the other side. Keep going, and know your limits. You know yourself, so trust your instincts and your body’s response to different scenarios.
If you ever feel like you need to talk to someone, remember that your Her Campus girls are always there for you. Till next time, Emma G. HCXO