I gave up.
I know. Those words are kryptonite, but I did.
I noticed that portions of my life were tottering outside of my control. One bad decision set off a domino effect for the beginning of my sophomore year. For the rest of the semester I was late to classes, failing assignments, and turning work in late. This downward spiral crashed through other areas of my life as well. I felt my window of hope close a little.
Exhibit A of ‘last minute living’. I was given an extension on a project over the summer. I waited until the last minute. Then I rushed and tried to finish it the day before it was due. It was so bad that I pulled an all nighter the day before the first day of classes. The closer I reached sunrise the more guilty and broken I felt. When my alarm went off the next morning, I decided that it was too late and I would just have to turn in what I had completed.
By the time winter break arrived, I was beat down by so many horror stories that I cannot type them all. My GPA had dropped, my stress level had increased, and my physical and mental health were suffering because of it. But I hadn’t completely let go of my hope.
Instead of accepting the new disorderly sections of my life with a defeated mindset, I accepted them with a hopeful mindset. I acknowledged that I was in a bad position, and then thought of a single moment where I could maybe, just maybe rise above my adversity. By thinking of this one moment, I had opened my mind and heart to a better future. Throughout that semester I made sure to tell myself that this wasn’t my ending, and that I would be better soon. During the break, I immediately began brainstorming ways to avoid a ‘last minute living’ lifestyle. I entered a new realm in which I desperately craved efficiency and productivity. I knew that the only way that I could remain in this realm was by improving myself and my surroundings. I improved these two things by first assessing them, and then taking action.
Reactive- Acting in response to a situation.
During my self-assessment I learned that my 2017 had been a reactive year up until winter break. Being proactive is where I needed to be.
Proactive- Creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.
For my academics, I created a custom planner that would allow me enough space to keep everything organized. Including a study plan that gave me room to rest my brain in between assignments. For my personal health, I allowed myself to spend more time with God, I set up a bedtime (Yes, as ridiculous as it sounds, I’m a college student with a decent bedtime. I have no shame.), I began meal planning, and I set aside a self-care day for at least once a month. While assessing my surroundings, I realized that they were overcrowded and unorganized. I began getting rid of things that I didn’t need, use, or want. I organized the things that I kept making sure that everything had its own place. Now let me be clear, all of this didn’t magically come together in a day. It took time for some things to get into place and it is still in progress.
This is the beginning of my proactive path. If you feel that you may be losing control or reacting to situations in your life, I encourage you to join me. I hope that my experiences motivate you to stay hopeful and eventually find your own path to a better future.
Sending out positive vibes for the first time in 2018, I wish you all an amazing year!