The Universe and it’s help

A few weeks before I started college, I felt lost. I had no idea how to navigate classes, I didn’t know how the teachers would be, I did not have any of my lifelong classmates that had been there before… you know, the usual freshman jitters. I was an anxious ball of stress and I had yet to begin my classes. I knew I had to get a grip on it before I actually started otherwise, I would slowly evolve into one bunched up, blood pressure rising, burden of a person.

Isn’t it funny how the universe is always tuning into our inner thoughts?

Right after I was freaking out, I got a call from my advisor checking in on if I needed any help. So, I listed some of my problems and they listed some solutions. Obviously, they couldn’t give me every answer to all my nonsensical hypotheticals and my questions simply beyond their capabilities. I was lucky enough to even have that kind of support they offered, but nonetheless I was still an adult and I still had to learn some of this stuff on my own.

Fast forward to about two weeks later- I had just finished with orientation and I was about to register for my classes when my advisor informed me that I had to take a pass/fail extracurricular dedicated to checking in on your spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. Keep in mind that this news was a few minutes before we had to start registering our course codes to sign up for classes.

I was so annoyed with this new information. I mean, I had just gotten over my worries about my course load and now I had to add more? It seemed ridiculous, frankly it seemed replaceable with something more helpful to my major. Still, it was a requirement therefore I had to register for it.

I was glad to have been proven wrong.

I thought the universe was listening to my inner thoughts when my advisor called, but the work was not done there. This class was my mandatory weekly check-in to make sure I was okay. It felt like every week we focused on creating tangible solutions to whatever our issue was. Part of this wonderful experience came from our wonderful teacher. For the sake of their privacy, I’ll be referring to them as Professor R. Professor R was a nonbiased third party that we could rant to about whatever issue was going on. They would guide us to the root of the problem and provide skills or things that can make things easier. To give an example:

“I don’t feel like I’m getting enough rest. I feel like if I tell one of my friends no, I will feel guilty about it later on.”

Professor R responded, “It can be hard to let some fun opportunities go, but prioritize which events are most important to you. By doing this, you will find more time for yourself. It sounds silly, but you really need to understand the value of rest in your life.”

Then they would show us a video of brain activity through an all-nighter.

This teacher was a lifesaver during my freshman year, they were literally the answer to my worries. Because I was lucky that the universe heard my cries for help, I want to help return the favor. If you needed a sign or help from the universe to help manage your stress, then I am here to help! These tips are from myself as well as useful information I learned from that class I mentioned earlier. You don’t have to be a student to use these tips or feel like you’re in complete chaos to use these, you can just be wanting to make life a little simpler.

These two tips are the first of my mini-series that I’m making in celebration of the new school year. For the next month I will be focusing on simple life-improving hacks that are actually obtainable so you can incorporate into your life in effort to be your best self. This week is focused on time, the next will be focused on mental health!

  1. The Positivity Post-It

Stuff Required: Literally a couple of post-its (a bright, eye-catching color)

                            A Sharpie

This exercise is relatively simple, and it can help keep you anchored in the metaphorical storm that is life. The first step to this exercise is to think of three simple, realistic goals for the next couple months. The key is to create manageable, short term goals to keep you focused on what you want to gain in the upcoming months in your professional, personal, or social life. The second step is to take the sharpie and write those three goals you came up with on a post-it. Simple! The final step is to find a place you look at most, I used my mirror, and put the sticky note there to see when you’re going about your business.

This serves the purpose of being a daily reminder as well as a visual of what you’re working towards. It’s like the grand prize trophy you stare at before running a race. It keeps you grounded to what truly matters.

Bonus… if you write this note and find that a lot of your struggles don’t directly pertain to your goal or that your goal is not worth what you are going through…

Change it. You are the master of your fate. Easier said than done, but it provides at least some clarity you didn’t have before.

  • Hour by Hour Scheduling

Stuff Required: A Schedule that lists every single hour (24 hours for reference)

This exercise was inspired by my teacher and from an episode of Arthur… Please bear with me.

When we were ranting to her midterm about not having enough time for basic things like working or homework. So, she suggested that we keep (AND MAINTAIN) a planner. It was really helpful to visually see which days were my busiest! But let’s be real, it requires a lot of focus and work to keep up with. I got my inspiration for this project while watching the Arthur Episode where Francine is trying to navigate her cousin’s bar mitzvah and her bowling tournament on the same day… at the same time. I’m straying from the topic.

So, to do this project, as I’ve mentioned before, all you need is a schedule of your week hour by hour. You can find this online or design one to your taste. Right before you start the week, take the time to schedule what a typical week looks like. Include what time you usually wake up, get ready, commute to work or school, lunch, etc. The key is honesty here. As much as I wanted to count my short walks to class as “exercise of the day” I knew that I wouldn’t be beneficial if I amplified it. I instantly was able to see where all my time was going. As shameful as it is to admit, some days I spent 30-60 minutes on Instagram. I could have done a workout or cleaned or did homework in that time! It was just mindless scrolling, not anything of substance. Time is a precious thing, so instead of using that time to complain about the lack of time make the effort to Carpe Diem as the latin say.

The Author, formerly frantic, now at ease

GenZ: Young, Scrappy and Hungry

I’ve followed the Hamilton Broadway show for about three years, since 2016. To say I love this musical is a drastic understatement. Whenever I listened to Alexander Hamilton’s epic struggles, I felt as if Lin Manuel Miranda himself were manifesting my own thoughts, passions and emotions into song lyrics. Even now, there is one specific lyric that resonates with me.

In the play, Hamilton finds Aaron Burr and He’s trying to gain momentum and make a name for himself by getting an education and fighting in the Revolution (“Aaron Burr”). When the two of them are walking the scene portrays that they are entering into a Pub where they spot Burr’s friends- Lafayette, Hercules Mulligan, and John Laurens. This new scene starts the song that truly introduces Alexander’s goals and ambitions as well as ignites the common passion amongst the brothers of the revolution. It also is where that lyric mentioned previously resides. It’s simple, but powerful. When Alexander is explaining, he tells the group how far he’s come with his moxie and talents through this lyric:

“I’m only 19, but my mind is older.”

Hamilton has a slew of note-worthy quotes, but as a college student trying to gain traction and a name for myself through the people I encounter- I get it.

As seen in my user, logo, title, and all social media I define myself as a member of GenZ.

“Generation Z”

As defined by Urban Dictionary, Gen Z is the group of children born slightly after millennials. Primarily through 1995-2009. This generation has grown up alongside technology of the 21st century, it has known terrorism since early age as well as multiculturalism. Other generations tend to describe this group as…

Technology Obsessed

Angry

Overly Cautious and yet Ignorant at the same time

Along with a few other descriptions, few of them actually being positive. As an older GenZer trying to make her mark on the world, it is extremely difficult to get older individuals who have already made their name known in the world to take you seriously.

This is not to say I don’t have to work at making a name for myself, because I know that it clearly is not the way to go about things. I want to thrive in my job and let my actions speak for themselves but it’s hard to do that when assumptions of older generations make impressions rather than what you’re actually doing.

My Generation has a lot of stigmas attached to its name, and yet we have barely had a chance to make a name for ourselves. We’re young, but we have experienced so much from early on. We have known the pain and suffering that comes from acts of terrorism, so we rally to fight against it. We have experienced financial hardships, so we’ve learned how to be smart with money. We are warriors, the leaders of tomorrow, and yet we’re still being treated like the children of yesterday. It’s ridiculous, especially considering the amount of time and action that comes as a reaction to our work.

When I’m working and when I am trying to present myself to the professionals around me, I want to be judged by my character and work. Not just my age. I am still learning, but the world is my blank canvas and I am ready to paint.

I’m only 19, but like you, Alexander Hamilton, my mind is older.

The Author, formerly frustrated, now renewed

The Debut of a New Me

“The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself, and shine amongst those who never believed she could.”

— Author Unknown.
Since I was 10 years old, I’ve always kept a diary. I loved writing in them and I would spend hours trying to craft the perfect descriptions to what was happening in order to encapsulate those moments forever. I was able to articulate my emotions and reactions to the things happening around me, I was able to imagine and grow through these books.
As I got older, primarily around 16, I stopped writing as much. It’s the same phenomenon that happens to everyone- life gets in the way. The phrase holds a lot of irony and yet a lot of understanding for a sentence that only has five words.  When someone reaches out to you for the first time in what feels like forever, there’s always an initial surprise factor that hits, or at least, that’s how it is in my case. My first thought always goes to, “what do they need? What are they looking for?” as they try to initiate casual small talk. I have come to find that it no matter who the person is, whether they be an ex, friend, or family member this thought is my initial reaction regardless of how things transpired between us.  This is not to say that this initial reaction is negative because the thing they may be in search for may not be negative. It could be something simple like they wanted a conversation, a friend, or just something they can’t quite put their finger on. Usually at some point of the conversation an apology on either my end or theirs comes for the lack of communication. More often then not, it’s that wretched phrase or a variation of it-
 “Life just gets in the way.
The reality that yes time does get in the way, but time itself is a manmade concept. So what gets in the way then? Obviously there are things in life that come before a simple conversation like jobs, families, etc. A better way to phrase that would be, “My Priorities changed.” or “I’ve had a lot of things happening.” or “I simply lost track of things.” 
Regardless, we use this phrase to often to justify not pursuing your passions. I used this excuse a lot. I didn’t have time to do self-care, I had homework to do. I didn’t have time to write, I had to clean. I didn’t have time. I pictured myself like a hand and time as sand. Every time I tried to “grab” more, not only would I be unsuccessful but I would lose time on other projects I already had because I was so consumed with my schedule. This would cause a moment of panic, and I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything at the level I was capable of. It was rushed. I was doing good, but not the best I could. Does this cycle sound familiar? A lot of people can categorize this nonstop anxiety inducing cycle as burnout.
Burnout (verb)-
to cause to fail, wear out, or become exhausted especially from overwork or overuse.

I was lucky enough to be able to recognize this in myself before it got out of hand, but nevertheless it was still very difficult to break or even take seriously. I’m only finished my first year of college, if I couldn’t handle that stress how can I handle the rest of life?
It was then that I had my realization, an epitome if you will.
I’m young and just getting started. If I take a minute, in the middle of chaos, to check in on myself, I can avoid this pain and avoid burnout.
I can be my best self and thrive at my work, home, and all aspects of life if I just take a minute for myself…
Wait how do I do that again?
Anything done at this point is better than that phrase, but the best thing we can is reevaluate what is most important to you. Are you happy with yourself? Your Relationships? Your Work? Are you making time for yourself? What does that consist of?
For me, that is writing, listening to music, socializing while also setting some time away for myself. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m 19, about to be 20, and I want to invest in myself to be my best self.


The Author, formerly aimless now determined