why am I feeling so good?
Okay, so I am confused. I've been at school for over a month and I wake up every morning refreshed. I am excited about full, long days ahead. I have not once tried to calculate my grades and GPA. I have midterms, essays, projects and my stress levels are not sky-rocketing like always.
I've just been feeling so good. And this is such a prolonged emotional high--I hope it becomes the new normal for me. I want to keep myself in this healthy state, and the past couple days I've been doing a lot of thinking of why junior year is going so differently from freshman and sophomore years.
1. For the first time, I feel like my passions are nicely aligned with my course of study.
With the revival of Yale's Education Studies department and finally being able to dive into the Sociology major, I feel like my studies have that focus and purpose I've been looking for. All the classes I've taken so far have been wonderful and interesting and thought-provoking--but I feel like I've found that perfect combination of studies that best represent my spirit and interests.
2. I'm excited about my extra curriculars and new projects.
Again, I feel like I'm really devoting my time to things I care about, things I see relevant to my future and things that challenge me. I am truly energized by my work with The Leadership Institute at Yale and my involvement in Kappa, so I'm focusing on these things and letting go of clubs that I simply don't enjoy as much.
3. I'm getting full nights of sleep.
This month I've been learning to let things sit. Those emails, that reading response, the pile of dirty laundry--they can wait and I will get to them tomorrow. This year more than every I've been prioritizing sleep. I have not once considered attempting an all-nighter.
4. I have 9 a.m. classes every day.
This is the earliest classes can start in my school, and around here 9 a.m. classes are considered killer. But I absolutely love it and I wish I had 9 a.m. classes during all my other semesters. My days are longer and I feel like I have the energy and time to do everything I want to do.
5. I'm keeping a fairly full(er) schedule.
I've always been the type of person who likes lighter schedules--I cherish the day where I have no appointments or classes and all I have to do is focus on one project. I'm not one to naturally jump around.
This year, however, I've made a change. And honestly this wasn't a conscious change at all. I've started saying "yes!" to events and new experiences--not "I'll see if I can make it" or "I'm kind of busy." If I can physically be there and have the time to afford, then I'll make it. This may or may not be a side effect of the Fear Of Missing Out syndrome we all seem to be getting (okay, it probably is), but I'm actually liking it. Each day is different and there's always something to look forward to--Master's Teas, grad school information sessions, improv shows.
6. I refuse to apologize for taking a break.
Coffee runs, froyo dates, a late night Lifetime movie, shopping for Halloween decorations at Rite Aid? Yes. And I'm going to enjoy every second of it.
7. I've traveled outside the campus bubble.
This past month, I went away for a leadership retreat in Milford, Kappa Leadership Academy in Ohio and an independent school fair in Stamford. In just a month, that's a lot of traveling for someone who is used to staying on campus during most of the school year.
I thought all this time away would actually stress me out--after all, these are precious days that I could be studying and catching up on reading. But in the end, they've been great. Stepping out of the Yale bubble really puts things in perspective. Life goes on and my entire being does not actually hinge on getting a good grade on a quiz.
8. Autumn is here.
It's crazy how much weather can affect our emotional states. The arrival of my favorite season full of chilly evenings, falling leaves and cozy lumpy sweaters has been such a mood booster for me.
The bottom line: I'm seeking greater balance and diversity in what I do day to day. A strict sleeping schedule is a must, and I've also learned that I feel so much better when my actions and my projects--from academics to extra curriculars--seem purposeful.
Honestly, I just had to give myself time to get to this point. Freshman year, I obviously wasn't going to figure everything out right away. And I'm still figuring things out. My priority right now is keeping on this groove and challenging myself more and more.
September, you have been a gift. October, it's nice to see you again. Here's to getting out of the sophomore slump!