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

This semester flew by so fast. I can’t believe that I was able to do so much within the past few months, but it did come with a huge lesson. Before the semester even started, I told myself that I wanted to actively be a part of my dance team, write articles for Her Campus, and do a software engineering internship while taking classes. However, doing a lot of things all at once became a lot more stressful than I expected, and I learned that I need to respect the time that I have and use it wisely.

Finding a balance is hard. I shouldn’t be sacrificing my hobbies for my responsibilities, but I shouldn’t be sacrificing my responsibilities for my hobbies either. I knew I was doing too much when I realized that my hobbies turned into more responsibilities that I needed to take care of. You know it’s a sign when all the fun things you want to do become stressful. 

I never wanted my hobbies to take up so much space in my head. However, when there were performances or article deadlines that I needed to meet on top of many other more important responsibilities, it was overwhelming. I remember that when I had multiple academic assignments and internship tasks I needed to work on, my mind was focusing on all that I needed to do while I was in dance practice or when I was writing my articles. Instead of focusing on my hobbies, I was focusing on everything that I needed to do, which defeated the purpose of wanting to make time for myself and de-stressing through my hobbies.

I was spreading myself too thin. I wanted to put more genuine effort into everything, but I wasn’t completely able to do so. At some point, I realized that I needed to slow down and take a few steps back. I needed to figure out what I had to prioritize, and I didn’t have to do everything all at once. 

palm trees sunset pink sky fun adventure original
Charlotte Reader / Her Campus

I am proud of myself for even making the decision to audition for my dance team or to apply to Her Campus. I was able to do both, but I never wanted these two hobbies to add more stress to my life. I only have three semesters left in college, but to make the most out of those semesters, I need to focus on my mental health and my future career. I am taking a semester off from my dance team so I can make more time to focus on my classes and apply to summer internships. I am still going to be writing articles, but this time around, I am going to write to destress. If anything adds more stress to my life in the next three semesters, and it’s not helping me be the best version of myself, I am going to act accordingly and prioritize what is more important in my life at that time. 

I hope that my reflection on this semester inspires you to make decisions that may help you in the long run. If you need to prioritize some tasks more than others, please do whatever you need to do to put yourself first. I hope you have a wonderful winter break.

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Sapna Parihar

U Mass Amherst '23

Sapna is a member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology. Sapna is excited to continue writing about wellness and anything else that revolves around her passions. Her interests include dancing, crocheting, listening to R&B and Pop, and reading self-help books.