The Pep Talk You Need for October

Oh, September. You kept me going with the excitement of starting a brand-new school year. You even made me want to write down everything in my new planner and... (gasp!) plan out my outfits for class. Our time together was sweet, but fleeting. Now I’m here, unprepared, in October. I think of October as the month I start to get substantially less sleep, so instead of focusing on papers to write I only have the brain power to Pinterest Halloween costume ideas. The month where the amount of assignments I have to do becomes scarier than any Stephen King movie.

But it’s time to brush off all the cobwebs for you October. We can do this. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned (and am still learning) through my college experience has been that I need not wait for anyone else’s permission. I often forget that worrying about being “polite” has led me to being afraid of stepping on anyone else’s toes ...which means more often than not I stand on the sidelines waiting for someone to allow me to step into the game. Some of my proudest, most memorable moments at school have resulted from giving myself a moment to say: I am the only person I need permission from to take this leap. What’s the worst that could happen? I’ll learn and I’ll laugh and I’ll move forward a bit wiser. 

So this October give yourself permission. It doesn’t need to be permission to do “great” work; it can and should be permission to fail, or permission to step out of your comfort zone in class, work, relationships, and life. It is important that we begin to give ourselves the chance to fail and fall flat on our faces. Everyone else is too absorbed in their own worries to care so much about them seeing us fall anyway. At the end of the day, you have to decide whether you’re doing things for someone else’s approval, or for yourself. I mean this about teachers and peers alike… getting a desired grade can become about getting approval from our teachers rather than diving deep into the material of the class for our own enjoyment. It’s time to move past that (easier said than done, of course). 

Your education is YOURS. Take it into your own hands, give yourself permission to learn, to slip, and to soak in everything that this New York City fall has to offer. Get some apple cider and make your homework more bearable in a coffee shop while looking out at the autumn scenery. Take a time out and go to a museum by yourself to just be with yourself. Curate your own mood-booster playlist and talk a walk in the crisp October air on a study break. 

Most importantly, take this month one day at a time! Set one achievable goal for yourself each day (don’t make it scary! We have Halloween this month already for that). It can be as simple as, “Today, I will give myself permission to mess up” or “Today I will reconnect with my friend from home”. 

May your October be full of rewarding hard work, apple cider, pumpkin flavored everything, cozy sweatshirts, failures, and laughs. Remember: you are capable of things you are hardly aware of yet. 

Photos: 1/ 2 / 3 / 4