As the clock showed 1:25 a.m. on Wednesday morning (two days into my second semester of sophomore year), I could not help but feel a wave of anxiety.
I started panicking as I contemplated my class selections and their respective levels of difficulty. I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and give up. If I was already staying up past midnight in the first week of classes, how was I going to retain sanity for the remainder of the semester? Yet, somehow at that odd hour of the night, I convinced myself to close my eyes and breathe - to take a moment and calm down. Each semester would become increasingly difficult, but it was doable.
Even though the level of difficulty of classes and workload are increasing, the amount of time devoted to academics does not need to change drastically. Coming into this semester, I decided that I was going to eliminate socializing and only focus on academics. I understood how busy I was going to be, and saw how others were able to be involved and still go to bed at a reasonable hour. I started wondering to myself, is it because I socialize too much? Do I not devote enough time to my work? Therefore, I came to my conclusion that I was going to only focus on my academics. No socializing.
Hence, during the first week of classes, my friends never saw me because if I was not in class, I was running through the MP and Cooler getting food to-go in preparation of the endless studying ahead. Even though I managed to sleep at a reasonable hour (surprisingly 10:00), I missed seeing my friends and experiencing the outdoors. I found myself becoming snappier and stressing myself out for no reason (because at the back of my mind, I knew I would be able to get it done). I realized that I had gone from socializing too much in the past semester to becoming too stressed out in the course of two weeks.
I am not saying to not devote a solid amount of time on academics. I am saying that it needs to be a balance - do not spend too much time on one part. If you spend too much time on academics (or stress about that all the time), two things will happen - college will fly by in front of your eyes and it will end before you know it. That is how I felt about the last 1.5 years. You will also burn yourself out and do more harm than good. We are all involved in some form of extracurricular activity (sports, clubs, Greek Life, research), and we can manage it all as long as we find a balance. Plus, we have our whole lives to stress-out and devote as much time to work, but only four years of the college experience.