Millennial life is hard? Am I right... Many of us millennials are struggling to understand the paradox of this precarious stage in our lives. On the one hand life is exciting and devoid of many external responsibilities, but on the other hand, our lives are subject to continuous change and subsequent anxiety.
I frequently get in a funk—I call it the lazy man funk. This particular funks occurs after being unproductive and apathetic towards accomplishing my goals. Sometimes I will go weeks, (months even) without going into this funk as I smoothly glide through my hectic schedule and check my to-do lists with growing momentum. Other times I rock by and forth between lacking monetary motivation and lazar mental discipline.
When I arrived, like a curiously intrigued kid at a candy shop buzzing with energy, I took a jello shot and impatiently waited. I waited to feel something new or meaningful. I waited for the half-clothed girls dancing on guys, vulgar music, and alcohol I consumed to transport me to a new and exciting place—a place that I thought I knew based on my previously tiny and inaccurate glimpse into society’s distorted understanding of fulfillment.
I shamefully muttered, “See that is my problem. I have so many ideas and passions, yet I have no idea what I actually want to do.” Wait, wait, so after all those in depth discussions about a a variety of polar opposite post grad paths, I really have no idea what I want to do? Yep—basically. Because despite my not so impressive ability to spit out several sophisticated career options when my pride is pressed, I remain partially clueless.
According to Webster dictionary, the word final (noun) is defined in North America as: “an examination at the end of a term, academic year, or particular class.” Finals in college are especially famous for being filled with late nights, an excess of caffeine and continual mental unrest, but unfortunately for students like myself who struggle with anxiety on a regular basis, this period of increased stress can be seriously detrimental to our mental health.
What are the facts? The 2015 National College Health Assessment survey reported that nearly one in six college students (15.8 percent) had been diagnosed with, or treated for, anxiety. And the same survey found that 21.9 percent of students said that within the last 12 months, anxiety negatively affected their academic performance.
Over the past few months my mind has been perplexingly reflective on the irreplaceable life and academic lessons that I have gathered through attending community college. So, whether you are interested or financially equipped to attend CC or not, my intention with this post is to spread a different and more positive light on the culture and opportunities at many community colleges. And I want to spread my positive light as radiantly as possible because as many of us know, community colleges have often been the product of one too many bad jokes, and as a result, they have somehow inquired an unfortunate reputation.
Sadly however, similarly to almost everything in life, the labels our society gives certain institutions, (while perhaps accurate in part), can veer towards societal bias and/or media distortion. Yeah I’m talking to you “Community." And so I strongly believe that we should aim to analyze different institutions from multiple perspectives in order to develop a non-biased and experienced based perspective before trying to label the effectiveness of an institution.
So today, in an effort to combat our societal tendency to label institutions without first looking at individual experience, I want to present my entirely personal perspective on community college by sharing 3 main life AND academic lessons that I have gathered over the past 2 years:
For many millennial college students, taking a summer course, (or even two), is no longer a last resort, but instead an expected route in order to stay on track, or effectively balance other extra-curricular activities by taking fewer semester units. And while this new college social norm around summer school is definitely positive for students and universities, many college students like myself often ask themselves, “But what about A SUMMER VACATION?”
And for a future orientated (real question: is that even a word?) person like myself, the prospect of not taking summer courses is frightening because heaven-forbid our resume’s fall behind, or our drive in school plunders during those three lost months. But thankfully, for any millennial like myself, (who need reassurance for far too much), it is healthy to remind yourself that if you are on track with your courses, or just desperately need a pause in life to reflect on your life, not taking summer courses is NOTHING TO BE GUILTY ABOUT.
But here is my personal fine print of that statement: taking a summer vacation in college is nothing to be guilty about if you are INTENTIONAL with your precious free time. Because guess what I know all too well?
Netflix exists. Donuts exist. Pinterest exists. Parties exist.
And guess what again? In moderation all of those things are beautiful accessories to a phenomenal summer, but if you want to use your summer vacation intentionally, the best way to start is by creating a blueprint for an intentional summer vacation.
Finding the perfect balance between speeding full force ahead towards your goals, aspirations and passions, and slowing down enough to stay in tune with yourself and appreciate what truly matters in life, is an incredibly difficult balance to find. I personally go back and forth between whether or not I am obsessed with, or detest, the act of hustling. To give you a picture of my constant struggle to find balance between working hard and hardly working, here's a tweet I posted last week: “This semester is basically me fluctuating between "Straight As, law school here I come," and "Cs get degrees. I just want to be a mommy."
And although I still struggle to find balance in my life, I am starting to discover when it is time for me to buckle down and plug away at my goals, and more importantly, when it necessary to step back and refocus my perspective on life. So with that, today I am going to write about three different indicators that help me know when to speed my hustle up, and when to slow it down...
Over the past year I've been obsessed with going to cute restaurants with my friends on the weekends, primarily because it’s the only thing to do in Elk Grove, but also because I adore trying yummy food and the subtle life pause that sitting down to eat allows us to take. Here’s the downside: going to an artsy restaurant and having awesome talks doesn’t always last that long. And in my case, you’re often left sitting on your phone trying to think of something, ANYTHING, worthwhile to do Elk Greezy, also known as the land of Targets and food places. But the good news is that I'm writing this post to inform anyone else who's been in a creative weekend slump that if you’re willing to sacrifice a little extra time planning, you might be able to say adios to your predictable weekend routine spent strolling the aisles of Target. Okay, maybe that's just me.
Over the past two months I’ve found my new addiction and fantastic weekend saver: GOING ON HIKES. Now quite ironically as I'm typing this post, it's pouring down rain. But with this moody weekend aside, the weather has been absolutely stunning in Sacramento this past month and fortunately for us, the greater Sacramento area has some incredible hiking trails. So, if you’re interested, I'm going to list three of the hiking trails that I visited this month that have quite miraculously forced my granny legs to get moving, some much needed vitamin D on my cheeks and last but not least, added some much needed spice to my uncreative and predictable weekend routine.
In today’s post I want to share four of my ride or die college favorites that help me power through my Spring college semester both physically and mentally. Some people find these types of posts silly and useless, but as an avid blog reader myself, I absolutely adore when people discuss a few of their monthly/yearly favorites because their suggestions always expose me to new and exciting products or places. So fingers crossed if you are still reading this, then you too, find it exciting to learn about other people’s silly, but essential favorites.
1.) A fun planner. I know, I know… A planner for a college student, how groundbreaking. And while it is true that a planner itself is not one of my favorites this semester, a fun, brightly colored and artistic planner that represents my personality however, is most definitely a necessity for my college semester.
Unfortunately I believe that many people wrongly view productivity as a term used to describe extreme and unwavering concentration, such an individual with the ability to wake up at the crack of dawn every day, run five miles, work diligently for eight hours and maintain a blooming interpersonal life. And while some productive individuals may live up what people think of, many productive individuals such as myself, are only productive because they have learned to adopt certain tricks that prevent them from constantly giving into their urge to sit and binge watch Netflix for hours at end. Again, I am living proof that there are highly unmotivated, but yet still productive individuals in this world.
So incase you are curious here are my four favorite ways to get my lazy self to be highly productive:
I personally believe that it is incredibly essential for a student, especially a college student, to have real life experience in the work force they aspire to enter, I also believe that many people underestimate the beauty of starting from the career bottom so to speak. What do I mean by the career bottom? When I refer to the career bottom, I am referring to starting from a job that is not exactly glamorous or easy. True as it is that by the time you graduate and prepare to enter your career, your future employer will most likely not be won over by your two year blue collar work experience at blank establishment, I do however believe that if students avail themselves to learning from their career-bottom workplace, storing that information and applying it in their future career, they will be much more prepared to face the challenges they may face as a post graduate millennial. I will spend the remainder of this blog post documenting some of the major lessons I have learned working at Chick-Fil-A, as well as how I intend to carry those valuable lessons with me in my future career. Additionally, this post will be written from my personal experience alone, and I do not expect or assume that my experience will be universally the same for all students, but I do hope that it helps to inspire millennial who are also working jobs that have been deemed “career bottom” by our society.
Working out has been proven to increase endorphins and improve concentration, but in the midst of balancing social engagements, assignments and work, many college students neglect working out. Here are several “Workout Hacks” I’ve discovered that can prevent working out from slipping off a college student’s every-growing to-do list.