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What I am doing differently this school year

As a sophomore in college, I’ve had the chance to reflect on the past school year and discover whatnto do to be more happy, productive, and less stressed this year. Looking back on last year, it was so easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work and burnt out by trying to do too much. While some things worked well for my school routine, here are some things I am doing differently this year. 

1. My Morning Routine 

Over the summer I took the time to craft my morning routine, and it is now my pride and joy. I look forward to my fun little morning habits and my coffee to get me out of bed and to start the day. What I love about creating my morning routine is choosing what works for me and finding happiness in the small aspects of every morning. A lot of the time, it’s so easy to compare what you’re doing with other people around you, especially with productivity and work ethic. Having a morning routine that’s my own has helped me focus on how I can improve my school life instead of comparing it to others’ around me. 

2. Starting a Vision Board 

I am a very visual person, especially when it comes to academics. What I decided to do going back to school is to create a vision board for my goals. Writing down my goals has been beneficial to me, but adding pictures and creative ways to visualize my goals has already been so much more effective. The vision board makes it much easier to work toward such goals and stay on track for the school year. No matter how big or small, the process of envisioning my goals provides motivation in itself. It’s also encouraging to see all of my goals grouped together in one place. If you ever need any inspiration or pictures, Pinterest is my absolute favorite place to go for ideas. 

3. Building on Mental Health Practices 

The trials and tribulations of last school year played a large role in my focus on my mental health and making it a priority. One of the main actions that I took in dealing with my mental health struggles was starting therapy. I did individual and group therapy and am so grateful to have been paired with an amazing therapist. Noticing how busy and stressful the school year can get, I have decided to make a conscientious effort to maintain the practices and work that I did in therapy last year. It has been so helpful to use the practices I learned for dealing with my anxiety and embracing important aspects of my identity. I hope to navigate this school year and center on my mental health. 

4. People & Passions 

One of the main changes that I am trying to implement into my school lifestyle this year is investing in the people and passions in my life. With each week that goes by, I find myself very busy and have a full schedule of work, extracurriculars, and a part-time job. So, I’m taking a page from my summer, and I’m setting aside time and energy to do activities (completely separate from school) and to spend more time with the people in my life. I plan to grab meals on campus with friends, learn new music on the piano, read books for fun, and talk/see my family.

Hi! I'm Elizabeth and I am a member of the class of 2024 at W&M. I plan on majoring in Geology with a minor in Marine Science. On campus I am also involved in the W&M Choir and the Marine Science Society! In my free time I love: to read, cook & bake, find new music to listen to, and spend lots of time on Pinterest!
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