The Struggle: Overcoming and Improving One Step at a Time
by Paola Martinez, Salem College ’20 (Molina High School, ’16)
MOOD FOR THIS SPRING SEMESTER UPON US
Hi, my name is Paola Martinez, and I hope you obtained some motivation from this meme! I know the struggle of starting the second half of the school year, and I can totally relate! Good food, good arguments, good relaxation, just in paradise! Just a brief background of myself, I’m a Molina ASP Alumnus, currently a third year attending Salem College in North Carolina. I’m double majoring in Spanish and Nonprofit Management and Community Leadership with a concentration in International Relations. Yeah, I know that’s a mouthful, tell me about it! Anyway, I’m currently interning with ASP and sharing my experience with high school students, but for the moment my Alums, this is for YOU. I would like to remind, prepare, advise, guide and overall just motivate you to accomplish your goals for the semester and hopefully a new perspective on how to execute your semester a little different.
For my FRESHMEN:
Welcome back to this new second-half of the school year. Remember fall semester? Yeah… It’s something like that, but better! The deadlines will still be there, the stress as well, but have no fear, a guideline is here 😉
If you haven’t done so yet, find what is best for you and your self-care–nobody else matters but YOU! What is self-care though? It has many branches, but its overall meaning involves improving and finding yourself in a mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually way, AKA growth. Sometimes we have to be selfish for our own sake and the sake of our peers. In the short run, it might be perceived as (insert negative term), BUT in the long run, it will help your environment and those around you. You might think you’re lost, but in reality, you just haven’t found yourself completely yet. I encourage you to take the initiative and start finding resources in your college to help you with this growth. More than likely there must be a career center with staff members who may are ready to provide you with resources for summer internships, independent studies, or summer programs. You don’t have to apply to any but it is most definitely encouraged for you to know your options and what’s available.
For my SOPHOMORES:
Start slow and steady and maintain that same vibration throughout the semester, we are not trying to burnout too early. Am I right…!? If you’re an introvert like myself, this might be difficult to tackle down. I challenge you to break the ice within yourself and go to your professors office hours, even just to do homework. Being in the same room as them will not only motivate you, but you will be able to ask a question then and there and get noticed a step at a time. Remember that they are humans too, and they’ve experienced some similar struggles. Professional personal relationships with your professors will open so many other opportunities and experiences, you just have to start. Hey, if you don’t like the field, there’s other majors to choose from and that is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE AND ENCOURAGED, NEXT. (see, what I did there? haha)
For my JUNIORS:
How was this past semester? YEAH, I feel ya. Guess what though? The countdown begins! 3 more anticipated semesters, 3! That’s IT! Y’all think we can make it?? I know that we are most definitely able to. I can say stop stressing, but let’s be honest, that’s not going to benefit anyone. Instead, I offer you a new approach: allow yourself to relax. Yes! Relax! There’s a solution to everything; it might not be the same path as your peers, but guess what, THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE UNIQUE! You have your own path to build, and probably a new career as well. Relaxing is the key! Yeah, you have all this stuff to do, okay??.. Think relax. Practice relax. Execute it, and if it’s food, eat it! I also challenge you to approach any situation you encounter as a learning experience, because that’s what they are. As human beings, once we do something and try to do it again, we never do it the exact same way. This is because we’ve learned; WE MODIFY. For instance, if one study habit doesn’t work, alright, cool beans, we modify and continue the hustle.
For my SENIORS AND SUPER SENIORS:
Okay, well I haven’t been in your shoes yet, but I can provide you with some past advice from my own friends. IT’S SENIOR YEAR and YOUR LAST SEMESTER. Such a bittersweet moment to acknowledge. However, it must come to an end, so start accepting that concept. Enjoy your last events in college, and get out of your comfort zone. I challenge you to master your dislikes, because once those weaknesses are mastered, will they even be considered weaknesses? Your weaknesses and strengths become ONE! All you need is to focus on improving and modifying them. Get me? Basically, your new comfort zone should be perpetuated into getting out of one’s own depth. Overall try to just enjoy the moment of events; there’s always something good, probably not in that precise instance but there’s definitely a GLOW UP just like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 🙂
Hope this small article has at least helped in any shape or form. Now, I leave you with this quote that one of our American founding fathers once said,