WHEW!! It has been a rough week!! Between the injustice of America and the death of Chadwick Boseman, many of us are running low on emotional capacity . This entire year has stressed many of us beyond our wildest nightmares. And the craziest thing is 2020 IS NOT OVER YET!!
Here are 20 coping mechanisms that can help you during a tough time.
Each week I write down my goals for the week to keep myself accountable for achieving them. I create a vision board and write down my yearly goals for New Years' and birthdays, but I have not written a 5-year plan in so long.
The last time I created a 5-year plan, life threw a wrench in my plans, and none of it happened. I was so devastated that I fell into a depression and felt like a failure. From that experience, I learned to research the goals, understand the reason behind the goals, and create sub-goals to help achieve them.
For example, I told you in an IGTV that when I was in high school and college, I wanted to own a house by the time I was 25. I had not researched home ownership or that process. I had not created any sub-goals to help me achieve that. Additionally, the only reason I wanted a house was that I thought it was a measurement of success and happiness, but all I wanted to do was live alone (which I currently do).
Here are my 5 Long Term Goals:
1. Career – I would like to be a full time blogger and grow Simply Sha Sha to a platform that shares bloggers' content about health, food, parenting, etc. I hope to be making enough money from blogging to support myself. If I am still working in Corporate America, I would like to be working in marketing OR being a content/marketing consultant for small businesses.
I want never to feel like I am working or be happy working on things that matter to me.
2. Financial – I would like to be credit card and student loan debt free!! I want to clear that debt and increase my credit score.
I want to have more financial freedom and splurge a bit on my loved ones and ME!
3. Social - I want to be surrounded by love by my family, friends, and hopefully by my current boyfriend (future husband ?)
I want to look at my circle, my community, my village, and see nothing but supportive, loving, and well-meaning people.
5. Personal – A goal that I am focusing on super hard right is improving my relationship with my body and food. This is a long-overdue priority! I will talk about this more on IGTV this week. I want to continue therapy and improve my mindfulness and the way I talk to myself. I also want to keep managing my anxiety.
These are just a snapshot of my long-term goals. Some of the reasoning behind them and sub-goals are not shared but could be shared in a future blog post.
I wrote these goals down to share with you all but also for me! I often get so busy, stressed, and unmotivated that I forget why I am working so hard and what I am working toward (BIG PICTURE). Or I get distracted by someone else's success and start to wonder down their path when THAT PATH AINT FOR ME and should keep going down the path that God made for me.
There are many times we (or at least I) decided that we want to do something solely because someone else was doing it well. I have not considered the different skill set between that other person and myself. The same way I envied the skills of others, someone has envied the skills that I have. I am grateful for the expertise and abilities that I have.
It's August! I cannot believe it. The summer is almost over, and we all have the same summer memories.
Since the summer is over, the 2020 seniors are about to be the 2020 freshman.This had me thinking about my college years at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. Staying up all night to study, going to all the parties, and everything in-between.
With all the fun I had in college, there are a few things I wish I knew before I started in college. Here are my four tips for freshman year:
1. Take that ASS to Class
This is a first-rate tip!! Unlike high school, no one calls your parents if you do not report to class, and there is no state mandate that you have to attend. Literally, no one cares if you attend class or get dropped from a course for not attending because the tuition paid for at the beginning of the semester is NOT REFUNDABLE.
You are allowed a certain number of absences per class, but it is essential to use these in the best possible fashion. For example, if you have a family emergency, medical emergency, or a sick day (sick can mean hangover, but I wouldn't do that often)
Not going to class because you have an 8:30 class, and you can't get it up IS NOT an emergency. If you are not a morning person, schedule your courses for the afternoon or evening.
Remember to be on time, depending on how anal your professor is about that, they WILL close AND LOCK the door at the beginning of class and count you absent. Some professors are just that ruthless.
2. Stay Organized
People told me this all the time before I went to college, but I never understood the importance until I was in it. ORGANIZATION IS KEY!!
Most freshmen have an average of 4 to 5 classes a semester, so that is 4 to 5 assignments and due dates you have to keep up with. Also, unlike high school, your parents are not notified of late assignments, or you don't have teachers reminding you and putting it on the board. The professor will give you a syllabus with the due dates on it, and it is UP TO YOU to turn them in. Most of the time, you will have to turn them in online.
I would suggest having a planner (my fav) with colorful pens for each class OR using a calendar app on your phone, anything to make sure you stay up to date on your assignments because BELIEVE ME once you get behind it is so hard to get caught up again.
3. Know Your Professors
I know you don't want to be the kiss ass teacher's pet, and that is not what I am asking you to do, but it is always a good idea to make sure your professor knows who you are and vice versa.
This means be on time, show up to class, participate in the lecture, and answer questions. If you are struggling in a class, go to their office hours or talk to them after class to ask for help. I promise this may seem like overkill but having your professor know you and see that you are actually trying in their course can be the difference between at D+ and a C-.
This is how I passed every one of my science courses (biology, psychology, and physics). I AM NOT GOOD AT SCIENCE!!
4. Check your Crew
This means be careful who you hang around and who you allow in your friend groups. If someone had told me this tip my freshman year, it would have been 100% better. College is FULL of new people, and that can be an amazing and overwhelming thing. On the one hand, you are exposed to many new experiences and cultures, which is excellent, BUT that also means you are exposed to people who may not have the best intentions or align with your moral compass.
This tip is very personal because looking back on my freshman year, and I should have made some new friends. My friend group was doing hard drugs, drinking, stealing, and other things that I KNEW were wrong, but I did some of them anyway. I didn't realize the consequences of the decisions I was making until I was arrested.
I am not blaming my old crew because I made those wrong ass decisions when I knew they were wrong, and I wish I would have the foresight I have now to choose your friend group wisely. That saying, "Birds of a feather flock together" is 100% true.
The people that you surround yourself with daily can influence the decisions you make. If you are around studious people who want good grades then you are influenced to do the same but if you are around people who are doing drugs, not studying, and barely going to class, that can influence you as well.
The take away from this tip is that while being open to new people and cultures, make sure you surround yourself with people who have positive intentions and kind hearts.
Well, I have told all my business and given you some great tips on how to survive your freshman year. I want to make sure to include that I know with COVID still being around, your freshman year experience will be very different. There probably won't be many in-person classes or not as many parties. There may be more COVID surprises, but remember that your college is experience is where you will figure out so much about yourself, be challenged, make lifelong friends, and lifelong memories.
DO NOT ALLOW COVID TO TAKE THOSE PRECIOUS THINGS AWAY FROM YOU!!!
They are too important :)
LAST BUT DEFINITELY LEAST, I want to dedicate this blog post to my favorite college freshmen (shown below). I have known these kids - my apologies - young adults their entire lives. They are special and talented in their own unique and perfect way. They make me laugh, smile, and sometimes curse, but I would not trade them for ANYTHING. They each carry a light that is so beautiful, pure, and full of hope. While I know that light will be tested - that is how this world is - I pray that it never deems it because it will guide them to the successful and bright futures I know they will have. I love you all so much.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.