Blogmas Day 6: A Look Back At This Semester (And What I Learned)

Hey guys! It’s Blogmas Day 6, and it’s almost time for me to get out of school! I’ve really been needing a reset, so I’m looking forward to having no school to do. In this blog post, I wanted to do a little refection on this semester, and some things I’ve learned. I feel like it’s always a good thing to go back over a part of your life and think about where you went wrong, or what you did right. This can help you prepare for the next part of your life!

If you don’t know, I’m finishing up my last semester as a community college student, and I’ll be transferring to a university in the spring. I’ve already had two and a half years of college, which was spent doing my core classes. This last semester, however, was spent getting into the harder classes of my major, which is computer science. A lot of stuff went down, especially with my job, and some other stuff I’ve been involved in. I was able to accomplish a lot thanks to God, but there were also a lot of times I fell short.

The biggest thing I learned was that taking too much on yourself is a problem. I mean, I’ve known that for a while, but this was the first time I really had to take a step back and find the courage to say “no” to people. I’ve always been a “yes” person, because I want to make life easier for people and do what they ask (as long as the request is within reason, of course). I sometimes say yes to things without thinking it over. For example, at the beginning of this semester, my boss asked if I would be willing to not only take on more hours, but also become a Supplemental Instructor, which is basically a fancy word for an imbedded tutor (someone who is in the classroom helping students). Without thinking twice about what this meant, I agreed. My trouble with saying no to people led to stressing over my Phi Theta Kappa officer team, which I feel lowered our efficiency. In general, I was just more stressed than I’ve ever been before.

I really wanted to enjoy this last semester at Northwest Vista, but I honestly didn’t. I was never home, thanks to working over thirty hours a week between my job as a tutor and being a PTK officer. I only had three classes, but they were ones that were particularly challenging for me, especially precalculus. My grades dropped lower than usual towards the middle of the semester, when I decided to work less hours. That helped a little, but I still wasn’t happy. I barely saw my family and I gave no time to myself or the things I loved doing. I stopped gaming, and it was rare that I found time to write or read. I stopped sleeping well, eating, or drinking water, which only made things worse because I was fatigued all the time. And when you work a job where you have to put on a smile everyday and be patient with people, it takes a toll. It was ironic, because at the beginning of the semester I made it my goal to repair my mental health. That definitely didn’t happen.

I will say that I found out what this sort of stress can do to you! Not taking care of yourself can do strange things, as it turns out (shocker, right?). Small, inconsequential things can seem like giant problems, which in turn leads to more stress, and it’s just one big snowball-like cycle. By the end of November, I knew I’d have to make some serious changes for the spring semester, because it’s not going to get any easier.

In the spring, I’ll be taking four classes and a lab, and these are not easy classes. I made the decision to not only major in computer science, but to also concentrate on computer security and minor in professional writing. The only thing that was remotely on my radar when I started college was writing. But I want to make video game- computer science wasn’t something I had thought of until I changed my major in the spring of this year. While it’s something I like, it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life by a longshot. But hey! I want to start up my own game company, and that’s going to take money! I figured being a programmer would be an excellent backup plan, especially if I have a minor in writing. I have a wide opportunity for jobs. The trick is that I just have to graduate. Easy, right?

It won’t be if I keep living the way I have been. Though I love my job, I will be cutting a couple hours off to focus on school. I won’t be a PTK officer anymore, so I won’t be in any organizations for the foreseeable future. I want to make sure I get enough sleep, food, and water. I especially want to spend more time with my family. If I balance my time wisely, which I am thankfully good at, I can make this work! I can make it work, and make sure I enjoy being a college student.

So yeah! That’s what I’ve learned this semester, and I really want to put that learning to good use. But what about you? What have you learned this fall? Let me know in the comments below!

And as always, God bless y’all and have a wonderful week!

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