As many of you know, I’m finally graduating college this month. I’m the first in my actual family to receive and degree, and only the SECOND person in my ENTIRE family on both sides to ever receive a degree. Being a first-generation student supporting themselves financially through school came with its struggles within and of itself, but I made it work! The past five years of my life have been a complete whirlwind, with me thinking “there’s now way this can really be happening half the time”, that’s how shocked I was at all I was being thrown at and dealing with while being a full-time student. With that being said, let’s dive right in…

Your friends freshman year will not be your forever friends

If you’re living on campus in a dorm/residence hall freshman year, basically everyone expects to become best friends with everyone they’re living around. While sometimes this does happen and you end up making nice, long-term friends from freshman year, it’s important and VITAL that you do not let these people dictate your future college career. I became really close with people who lived on my residence hall floor. If we weren’t in our classes, we were either at the dining halls together, hanging out in someone’s dorm room or just finding absolutely anything to do with one another for the most part. We hung out over winter and spring break, finding any possible way to meet up with one another or as a group when we weren’t all on campus in our dorm. They really were my best friends at the time! However, despite how much time we all spent together, all good things come to an end. Even though for a time I thought I would be lifelong friends with some of these people, things happened and I don’t even want anything to do with several of those people now. * shrug * People change in ways you could have never imagined and I would have never expected that freshman or even sophomore year, but it’s always important to do what’s best for yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, says or does.

Moral of story #1: The people you meet in your dorms may or may not become your good friends. If not, that’s totally fine! Meet people through clubs, classes, spots, etc.! And if they do, ensure it’s a healthy friendship and the second you feel like it’s not, don’t feel bad about letting them go.

Don’t be in a rush to move off-campus

I had a lease signed for my own apartment with two other girls before the spring semester of my freshman year even ended. I did this because I knew there was no way I would be able to stay sane living back at home during the summer, I couldn’t commute from home to school if I did go back there since I didn’t have a car, I didn’t get the RA position I was hoping for nor did I get offered a position for the on-campus summer job I applied for. Needless to say, I was freaking out. So, I did what I thought was best at the time and my only option and got this apartment I would be paying for completely myself. Because I decided to do this, I had to work at least two jobs the entire time I was in school, while working three the majority of the time. I became really depressed, my anxiety became worse than ever before, my grades started slipping and I was into some really unhealthy habits due to the lax environment of living in your own apartment. If your parents offer to help you out with rent and utilities, that’s awesome! But I stress to everyone, do NOT rush into an apartment and work yourself to death while you’re in school. There are other options. I could have lived on campus another year, but I didn’t want to run the chances of getting a random roommate I would have issues with. I probably should have just taken my chances, but nevertheless, I wanted an apartment so I got an apartment. And I’ve learned my lesson a thousand times over!
Moral of story #2: If you can, do not rush into living off-campus if you think your grades and mental health may be sacrificed.

Your mental health is most important

I struggled with my mental health years before college. I was very depressed and anxious, and was 100% ready to go somewhere new, meet new people and start a new chapter of my life. Freshman year I was very anxious at times and the amount of alcohol I was drinking (which was a lot, if we’re being honest here) did not help the situation whatsoever. Flash forward to sophomore year when I was living off campus and paying for my own cell phone, rent and utilities, school necessities and food. So, basically everything. Because of this, I had to work 50+ hours a week, let my grades drop and let my mental health deteriorate more and more everyday. As soon as I would get to my apartment at night from work I would shut myself in my room and be in bed, anxious, until the next morning when I had to get up and do it all over again. I was in a terrible place and sought the help of my school’s counseling center. While that didn’t really go well and ended up with them telling me that I needed further help they couldn’t offer, I don’t regret seeking the initial help from someone else. After this I believe I moved elsewhere, and ended up feeling a bit better but was still very anxious. Eventually I was able to move somewhere where I didn’t need to pay rent, saving me from most of the stress I was dealing with. Once this happened, I started finding healthier ways of coping, figured out good medication from my doctor and have been doing better and better. If you feel your mental health slipping or feeling different about yourself, it happens. Everyone is stressed during college and more and more kids are dealing with anxiety now, too. While school counseling centers may be better elsewhere, it’s always a good idea to seek out their assistance if you’re at school and are looking for someone to talk to and possibly help you.

Moral of story #3: You can’t pour from an empty cup.

I have a lot of different emotions and feelings about graduating, but if you’re currently there and are having a tough time: it’ll get better. It may not be until a year from now but it’s so important to just keep on trucking because before you know it it’ll be your last semester and you’ll be outta there!

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Here we go with another Passion Planner post! I’ve been using Passion Planners for about the last three years now and I love them more and more everyday! However, the main thing I love about Passion Planners and planning in general is how much it helps with my actual anxiety on a day-to-day basis and that’s for a few reasons!

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If you missed out on my first “5 Song That Help Ease Anxiety” post you can catch up on that, here! I split this topic in half since it would have ended up being a super long post, so here we go with part two!

This is my last semester of college and probably one of my busiest, so trying to stay sane this semester has been a bit of a challenge. However, music has always been one thing that destresses me and allows me to forget about whatever it is I’m currently thinking or stressing out about!

These songs are a few that have resonated with me or just really help me relax and think about better things than stressing myself out over likely nothing!

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Recovering from anxiety and depression is ongoing. There may never be a day where you’re like, yes! I’m free! but there will definitely be weeks, months and maybe even years where you go on with your life happily, carefree and content. Other times, you may start to feel yourself slowly losing interest in the things you like, losing your appetite and just feeling all around down in the dumps again.

If you feel like you’re beginning to become more anxious or depressed once again, it’s important to remember a few things:

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This will probably be one of the more personal blog posts I’ve posted thus far, so bear with me! Something I’ve seen some people struggle with (in addition to myself) is learning to do things on their own. I don’t mean growing up and having to do adult-like things you don’t really feel like doing, I mean not having friends to go casually shopping with. Spending more time by yourself than with other people. Just not feeling that connected to people around you. Maybe you do put in the effort towards other people, but they just don’t give that same amount of effort so you’re left feeling dumb and defeated, wondering why you tried again to begin with.

I’ve been there. I’m currently there. I’ve been there the last few years. And it sucks! Scrolling through Instagram you see every other girl post cute, trendy pictures with their friends makes me wish I had that, and I know I’m not alone! Nevertheless, I’m more a less a happy person, but I wanted to write about why its important to learn to be comfortable with doing things by yourself!

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Sunday’s are super important to me for several reasons. It’s the only day of the week where I know I’m not working at any of my three jobs, I have the entire day to do whatever I need to do in order to fully prepare for the next week, and I can even decide to do absolutely nothing if I really feel like it or need to.

All in all, Sunday is a day where I ensure I take time to myself. That being said, I’ve started developing a few simple Sunday habits that have helped me start my week off in the best mindset possible, only setting me up for success in the upcoming week!

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I’ve always loved music and have been fascinated with how much impact one song can have on someone’s life. When I was 15/16, I was going to probably one to two concerts a month, it would have been even more if I had been able to drive and had my own car, but I still have literally lost count of how many total concerts I’ve been to since I was that age!

I was that person who camped out on the sidewalk from 8am the morning of the show, spending the day wandering whatever city area I was in for the day, hoping to meet whatever band I was seeing that night during the day. I’d make up fake stories just to be able to get into meet and greets (whoops, but it worked!!!), wait for hours in the cold after concerts praying for a low-quality picture with band members, and spend money I shouldn’t have on gifts for these band members.

I feel like rambling at this point, but my point behind that tidbit was from that age on I felt more strongly connected to certain songs and artists. Suffering from depression and anxiety in high school, I even got a letter sent home because I was missing so much school – because I couldn’t even bear to get out of bed. Since then, I’m thankfully much better but owe a lot of my will power through the last few years to certain songs.

My favorite thing about music is its ability to immediately take you to somewhere else, alleviating you from the current thoughts that you feel are consuming you. That’s why I wanted to share with you all my list of 10 songs that help ease anxiety…

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As the spring semester and starting my very first internship approaches (this is my last free week before my internship starts next week!), my anxiety is starting to slowly creep up on me more and more each day.

I know many other students feel the same way when it’s time to start another semester, new job, etc. Sometimes professors will post the syllabus before we actually meet on the first class, giving students the low-down on what the class is going to be like and what assignments there will be. When I read these, I tend to begin worrying about group projects and who would be in my group, what I’d do if I didn’t know anyone in the class, where I would even sit in the classroom, the tiniest things!

Going into my last semester of college, I’m not too anxious about my classes this semester. Instead, all of my worrying has been about my internship that begins next week. What am I going to do with a full hour lunch break? What if the employees hate me? What kind of projects are they going to have me working on? What if I even end up not liking it? Am I going to be too overdressed or underdressed? While I’m (REALLY) excited to start my internship and get a foot in the door in my career world, I’m just as nervous and scared!

The days leading up to a new semester, job or internship tend to be really stressful, anxiety-filled and overall just not enjoyable for me. However, I wanted to write about the ways I’ve started to cope with these feelings as I know beginning new and scary things is just a part of life now!

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In 2013, the American Psychological Association  found that 41.6% of college students put anxiety at their biggest concern.

Essentially, almost half of college students are saying anxiety is a major issue for them. Thats a huge amount of students feeling overwhelmed, worrisome, uncomfortable and even possibly unmotivated.

I struggled with both anxiety and depression throughout high school and unfortunately ended up getting even worse in college. However, I’d say within the past year and a half or so I put some major time and effort into focusing on myself, self care, and trying to change from a mostly negative person. (I’m proud to say I’m a lot better now, though!)

Starting a self care routine for myself set time aside on my best and worst days to ~cleanse~ myself of the day and focus on getting a good nights sleep, which is vital for me to have a good next day.

Here’s why I think starting a self care routine can be so beneficial:

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