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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

The last few months have definitely been something else. Whether we’re looking at the global pandemic, jokes about killer wasps or a revived civil rights movement, it’s definitely been quite the summer. And without anything having really calmed down (except for killer wasps), summer vacation is a thing of the past and students everywhere are going back to school.

I’m going into my junior year of college; being a pre-med student, that means that the pressure on this school year is at an all-time high, with global events as the icing on top. This summer was met with a newfound passion for activism, so how do you simply just go back to being totally focused on your classes? It seems like every single time I go on Twitter, there is something big and new that is trending. Keeping up with what’s going on requires homework of its own.

This year, it’s especially vital to know what’s going on in the world. Without even meaning to, everything somehow comes down to politics (whether you believe that the current events going on should be a partisan issue or not). Is encouraging everyone to wear a facial covering part of a liberal agenda? Are the nationwide protests sparked from the death of George Floyd senseless violence or a cry for change? Are Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson truly back together?

Should I be upset that I can’t go to club meetings and interact with my professors and classmates? Well, yes and no. It sucks that I can’t get physical interactions, but hey, I can take classes from the comfort of my bed. Staying home also means not putting family members that I care about at risk, which is more important to me personally than catching it myself.

typing on a laptop in bed
Photo by Sincerely Media from Unsplash
This is a really weird time. I’m equally as stressed about studying for the MCAT as I am about the election happening in November. How do I even balance it all? To be honest, there isn’t really a right answer. I think a great thing about college students is the passion most of us have for all the things we care about, even if they don’t directly affect us. The future is bright knowing that the next generation of adults is more compassionate and empathetic about the world around them.

You probably won’t lose sleep taking the time to stay educated both academically and politically. If anything, it might encourage you to try even harder in everything you are doing in school. I’ve heard so many people say that staying up to date with events is a drain on mental health, which is a fair argument. When it starts to take a drain, step back, take care of yourself, and get the ball back rolling once you’ve cleared your mind! The point of it all is to make a difference in the world. So, in the words of Kris Jenner, while you’re embracing a semester full of Zoom lectures and virtual club meetings, as well as politically educating yourself by speaking for social justice and smashing oppression, you’re doing amazing sweetie.

Oh, and don’t forget your face mask!

medical supplies
Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

Steph is in her fourth year studying biomedical science and neuropsychology at the University of Central Florida. She is very much into going to the theme parks in Orlando and spends her day loving dogs and hyping over Harry Potter. When she's not writing, she's dying over MCAT prep, volunteering, research, or binge watching the latest Netflix show. Instagram: @stephaaniejimenez
UCF Contributor