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Last Semester as an Undergrad: Here Are My Priorities

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

This year has been kind of a flash of life before my eyes. Having been taking classes since July, on top of a complete fall semester and seven credits over the winter break, it’s pretty safe to say I am burnt the hell out. Let me say that again, I am burnt the HELL out. That being said, this is the worst case for my attitude if I really want to finish strong and maintain my GPA, so here are some of the priorities that have helped me overcome the whirlwind of trying to save every last drop of the undergrad lifestyle while still getting in the mindset of bracing myself for the real world which is only two months away.

1. Routines

One thing I started over the winter break was a variation of 75 Hard to help me learn discipline — a trait I threw in the trash as soon as freshman year started. My philosophy for the past four years has been “as long as I am passing my classes I can do whatever I want” — which has been fun for sure, but it’s time to clean up the act. 75 Hard is a 75-day challenge that practices mental toughness. However, I will be the first to say that all the rules in 75 Hard are not great for my mental health, so to make this challenge more accomplishable I created my own 30-day challenge that was a more suitable goal that matched my standards. I practiced eating more healthy food, doing at least one workout a day, and no beer to alleviate the number of unhealthy carbs I intake to be able to replace them with healthier ones, and I read 15 pages every day. I found that this type of routine, although not everything is desirable or easy, I was able to find what parts of my routine I really enjoyed so that in the next 30-day challenge I can reassess my goals to work towards a new set of accomplishments.

2. Drinking vs. Going out

Another thing that I am sure a lot of UMass students are preparing for is learning the art of casual drinking. Yes, John Mulaney once coined the phrase “living in college is like living like a ninja turtle,” but there comes a time when one must differentiate between the poise of casual drinking and the rattiness of going out. I’m not saying that going out frequently leads to alcoholism or that it’s irresponsible to do so, I just know that as a future teacher, I can’t really afford to be going out to the bars as much as I do as an undergrad student.

3. maintaining a social life

Now I promise you that I’m not a crazy hardass. On the contrary, I am quite the opposite, I just have anxiety about going out into the real world in May, so to help relieve my stress I have been trying my best to stay accountable for myself by showing up for myself. However, the best way to destress is hanging with the buds and enjoying the last few months we have in this lackluster life we live, without children or real jobs or husbands or wives. It is super hard to take a step back and remind myself that my social life is not powered by the productivity I produce in a day, so on the days that I can try and relax a bit, I always go straight to my best friends.

College is terrifying and fun, and the only thing that reminds me of how great the next chapter of my life will be is remembering what I once thought of college, the anxiety before arriving, the fear of not making friends or fitting in, but I (knock on wood) did it, and if I can survive being a pretty embarrassing person and yet never once ending up as a meme on the @Zoomass Instagram page, I can do anything.

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Faithe Shatford

U Mass Amherst '23

Faithe is a senior studying education and English at Umass Amherst. They are from Gloucester Ma and like to play music.