Hooray! You made it through your first semester of college! And for those of you who maneuvered your way through semester three, or five, or seven - job well done. Either way, as you are finding out, this college journey is not for the faint of heart as it can be raw, intense, discombobulating, and unforgiving. More than likely your tank is empty. You are spent. I totally get it. It is probably the most you have ever grown as a human being in a four month span of time, barring your infant and toddler years. Take a deep breath and let it all sink in. The good, the bad, the ugly. Acknowledge the visible, but mostly invisible interior signs of growth.
Growth in any form is largely uncomfortable and exhausting, and college offers prime growth real estate with its new and unchartered territory. I like to refer to it as the perfect time to reboot. It is the space between your previous existence and the current one under construction. As you are learning, life will take you on a grand journey if you allow it. This openness to the adventure will allow you to reach landscapes and heights that you never imagined possible. Think about it: you are definitely wiser and none worse for the wear than when you arrived on campus in August. If you experienced discomfort, awkwardness, confusion, and insecurity along the way, this is a good sign that you stepped outside your familiar which is precisely where you need to go in order to grow. It seems counterintuitive to seek this kind of growth, especially when misery seems to accompany it, but it is absolutely your greatest teacher. So, regardless of what semester you have under your belt, hold your head high. You did it. You are still standing, learning, and growing - and that, my friends, is something to celebrate.
Next step: recalibration. Thankfully, winter break offers a time for replenishment in the form of TLC, rest, reflection, exercise, home cooking, ice cream, Netflix, friends, and family. Take advantage of it all. Soak it in at the cellular level. While settling in, make room for reflection to process through the unfolding of the last 4 months (no judgment, just awareness!), gain some clarity on where you are at this moment on the journey (again, no harsh judgments as much as being a compassionate witness to what has been and what is), and then brainstorm what you would like to change, what you desire, and what are possible next steps. Creating space for this process is vital in setting the trajectory for your second semester. Goal setting and getting clearer on what piques your curiosity and what lights you up, even if it means shifting majors, is a good step. For some it might mean seeking out time management/organizational help, or finding a new friend group. For others, it takes the form of integrating a new hobby or weaving in the creative. Whatever it is, cheers to the process. I look forward to picking up where we left off and hitting the ground running, dear ones! Until then, get some sleep and take time to exhale. #itsallgood