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Balancing College and Mental Health

Discussing my first quarter of college!

Wow! It's incredible to think that 12 weeks have already passed; time truly flies. My first quarter of college has been an unforgettable experience. It was undeniably intense, filled with new friendships, novel experiences, moments of joy, tears, sleepless nights, and everything in between.

College life has been fantastic. I find myself in a new environment, meeting diverse individuals, and exploring my newfound sense of independence. Simultaneously, I am navigating the intricacies of being on my own. The safety net of my parents is no longer present, and there's no external pressure guiding me to attend class, eat, or complete my assignments. This quarter has revealed the importance of establishing routines based on my desires and needs, determining what's best for me.

Being at an academically rigorous yet socially vibrant university has its highs and lows. Striking a balance between socializing, meeting new people, and focusing on academics has been a learning curve. If there's one thing I wish I had known before entering college, it's that the academic landscape is vastly different from high school. While I anticipated the increased difficulty, the sheer volume of content presented a challenge. It wasn't just about the difficulty level; it was about managing the constant influx of information to grasp the concepts presented in lectures.

For me, it was a wake-up call. High school success, achieved through last-minute cramming, proved ineffective in college. Adapting and altering my study habits became a crucial aspect of my academic journey. Having a personalized study system is a gamechanger, allowing for more free time to explore and enjoy the college experience.

Balancing extracurricular activities, clubs, and social events was another aspect I had to master. While it might sound like a burden, it was a unique opportunity to choose my involvements. However, it was also overwhelming. As someone prone to taking on too much, I learned the importance of moderation. In college, being part of one meaningful activity can be as valuable as juggling multiple commitments. I realized that I had a chance to start anew, leaving behind the expectations and identities of high school, and mold myself into the person I wanted to become.

After loading my schedule with various activities, I experienced burnout and learned a valuable lesson about the distinct differences between high school and college life. Reflecting on the past 12 weeks, I acknowledge that I may only have figured out a small percentage of college life, but the ability to assess what went well, what went wrong, and how to improve is immensely rewarding.

In conclusion, finding the ideal balance between social and academic life is essential for enjoying college. It's okay not to have it all figured out, but recognizing the need for balance is crucial. While there's much more to share about my college experience, this realization about the transformation of my mental health throughout the quarter is a significant aspect of my journey.

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