For Those Times When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

It’s definitely not easy being a college student. However, it’s even harder being a junior or senior college student with the threat of the ‘real world’ looming on the horizon. Your mind is drowning in thoughts like ‘Where will I be next year?’, ‘Should I apply for this internship?’, ‘What if I don’t get picked for an internship and then I don’t graduate on time?’, ‘Do I have enough experience, leadership positions and extracurricular activities for an employer to even consider me?’. The worst of all these thoughts being ‘Am I on the right track?’, ‘Is this really what I want to do with my life?’, or ‘Should I change my major when I’m a senior in college?’.

To be completely honest, I have all of these thoughts every single day. They dominate the forefront of my mind constantly, and I’m tired of it. Sure, I may have 4 tests and 2 extremely important interviews this upcoming week, but why am I driving myself insane with what’s to come?

After this realization, I’ve decided that there are 2 things I need to work on:

  1. Being present
  2. Trust

Being Present. Today is an absolute gift. It’s an insult to the One who has created this beautiful day to squander it. Instead of spending today marinating in worry over  what is coming up, spend it looking around and appreciating what He has already provided you with. Your incredible blessings are infinite and your thankfulness for these blessings is, quite frankly, embarrassing. Yes, tests and interviews and grades are important, but don’t you dare trick yourself into thinking that the only way to succeed in life is by never taking a break to look around and enjoy what you have already achieved. This day is a gift – appreciate it, enjoy it, and always be grateful for the opportunity to live out another day.

Trust. With everything that somehow ends up in your planner and on your to-do list, you often get trapped in the illusion that you’re in control. Which is HILARIOUS. To even think that you’re the one who has the most say in where you end up or who you end up with is completely comical. God has already planned out your entire life – down to the last second. You best believe that things will not fall into place because you will them to. Rather, everything that is hazy will become painfully clear when you focus your thoughts on Him. Haven’t you noticed by now that you’re more proactive, energetic, and optimistic when you prioritize the Lord throughout your day? He is the One who determined your purpose and reason for existence on this planet. Trust in Him, His judgement, and His choices for your life. Everything will go smoother and your mind will be at ease when you finally accept this truth.

In short, do not get overwhelmed and consumed by the things that are to come in life when what is right in front of you is already so breathtaking. Accept that there are so many things that you have no control over. Your life has already been written. Trust in the Lord, the almighty Author, that it will be the best story ever written.

For Those Times When You Need a Confidence Boost

I have struggled in a love-hate relationship with confidence for my entire life. Honestly, probably the longest relationship I’ve ever had. There’s these periods in my life where I am flying, no one can touch me, and I am positively superior. Then there are the less utopian periods. The ones where I am so down on myself that I underestimate all of my abilities, sell myself short, miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and avoid anything out of my comfort zone. (Sometimes that comfort zone is even my bed.) These self-deprecating periods are much more frequent than the first, of course.

However, I’ve recently been forcing myself to do things I normally wouldn’t.

  • hanging out with a group of people I don’t know that well
  • offering up one of my ideas in a meeting
  • driving to an event and arriving by myself
  • attending a career fair
  • asking for help on an assignment or project
  • applying for a prestigious position
  • asking a stranger in class if they want to be partners on a project
  • honestly, just speaking to a stranger in any context

A lot of people wouldn’t even blink at the thought of doing any of these things, but for a self-conscious, introvert like myself they’re the equivalent of singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. This has recently been on my mind because of AUDM Vice President applications being out, and because I’m currently looking for a summer internship. These 2 circumstances have shoved me into situations that make me sweat, fidget, and question all of my expertise, qualifications, and experience.

But here’s the thing… (I’m going to talk to myself now)

You are so incredibly capable. Every single thing that you’ve done outside of your comfort zone has helped you grow into the amazing person that you are. I’m just gonna name a few to really drive this home:

  • choosing to go to Auburn University, a place where you knew no one
  • going into recruitment completely blind and rushing your sorority
  • applying for your Freshman Leadership Program, PAL
  • joining AUDM’s Morale, a committee meant for extroverted people
  • becoming the Assistant Entertainment Director at Eagle Eye TV

I don’t know about you, but I can’t even imagine your life without these organizations, experiences, and people that you’ve met along the way. Your leadership and creativity grows every day. Your passion inspires others; they’ve even told you so on multiple occasions. You continue to impress others, and even yourself, with your lighthearted humor, commitment to your cause, and shameless methods. Don’t you dare pretend to not have ideas or opinions for the sake of offending others or embarrassing yourself. Nothing could be more embarrassing than to not live up to your full potential. God created you for a purpose, and I can say with full confidence that that purpose is not to lay in bed, never trying anything new, and silencing all of your innovative thoughts. I’m tired of having to deal with your anxiety every time you’re introduced to something new. You’re freaking incomparable and I’d love it if you recognized that from here on out. Now go out there and live life like you mean it. You’re gonna kill it.