This has been an odd first week of classes for me. It feels as if I have everything to do and nowhere new to be all at the same time. I have all online courses this semester, so I really am not going anywhere new all week. I am not catching up with classmates before lecture. I am not meeting up with my friends at the Duck Pond for lunch. But I still have a full course load and am working at my second job. I am even doing more extracurricular activities in the Lobo community than in the last two years. So, I am really confused about starting my fifth semester of college.
Before I let you know how my whole week has been a long, frustrating “uggggggg,” I do want to think about my first week of my very first semester of classes. It was my second week ever being in New Mexico and everything seemed just as confusing. My classes all started raring to go where other dorm-mates were cruising through syllabus week. By day two, I was already spending three to four hours on homework. At the same time, all my newly made friends were hanging out in each other’s rooms. They were watching movies and going down to the Hokona Cellar to play ping pong and pool.
Things I learned back then
In that first week, I really started to believe college wasn’t meant for me. Why do I have all this material and everyone else can go hang out and socialize? At the time, I didn’t know; 1) I had a lot to learn about time management and working efficiently and 2) it isn’t fair to expect to be able to do everything that everyone else is doing when you all have very different classes and course loads.
Where I’m at now
So back to my all too confusing first week of school. I already feel stretched so very thin, but I am so very staying in the same place my entire day. I am ending one Zoom call just to begin another one. In my free 10 minutes before classes, I start to cram homework or finish student organization tasks. I am having 12-hour days, but I am doing it without moving an inch. I am confused by how exhausted I can feel by the end of the day after not doing anything at all.
It is confusing, but I think the solution is going back to what I needed to learn in my first semester. It is not fair to expect yourself to do everything. While now it’s not a comparison between me and my friends in the dorms, it is a comparison between me this Fall and last Fall BP (before pandemic). Usually, I run around everywhere on campus, hoping in my car to drive to work in the middle of the day and coming back to attend what seems like a billion meetings. Now that I am staying in one place all day, my body is ready to go but my mind is in overdrive.
Being mindful and remembering that this is a whole different semester is something that I hope will help me. I plan to take a few extra deep breaths and schedule in extra time for self-care and hopefully the want to scream and sleep at the same time will be less intense. I am going to try to move around more during the day and keep doing my at home workouts.
This time, I don’t have solid advice, but I can say you are not alone if this start to the semester is weird.
Good luck navigating this new semester and don’t forget to take a deep breath,