It’s about that time of the semester when the library is full and everyone is feeling drained. I can relate 100%, but thank God it’s finally finals. I have booked my flight and I’m ready to get the heck up out of here. Fall 2017 is just about over and I could not be more relieved. I’ve said this so many times already and I’m about to say it again: this semester has been the most stressful few months of my life. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way (thanks to Twitter).
I can’t believe it’s already “Hi professor, I hope this email finds you well…” season
— Micheline (@michelineamisi) November 26, 2017
When I came back to DC in August, I was really excited for all of my new classes and the fun things I’d be doing and, of course, the growth. It is now December and I’m so stressed that I haven’t played Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in, like, three days. This semester has taken on toll on me mentally, academically, and emotionally. And now, it’s almost over. I have just a week left until I board a plane and escape from the hell that is college. Don’t get me wrong, I love Howard and I love learning, but there is absolutely no reason that school should have me stressed out like this. Just like last semester, I learned how important balance and time management are. Although I take the time to write down each of my assignments in my planner and plan out exactly when to work on my assignments, I tend to opt to take a nap or watch my current binge-watching series (currently stuck in the beginning episodes of She’s Gotta Have It). I had to learn discipline and force myself to do my work throughout the week because waiting until the last possible moments was not working so I had to find something that did work.
Right before Thanksgiving break, I took the time to make a list of all the remaining assignments I had in each class and planned out exactly when I would work on them during the break. Although I wasn’t completely all about my work (thanks to babysitting, volunteering, and binge-watching Game of Thrones with my brother) throughout the whole break, I managed to get at least half of my work done before getting back to campus. Even though I have quite a few more assignments left, that alone lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders because if I hadn’t forced myself to do my work (“Deni, just write the damn paper. It’s not gonna kill you. Why are you even complaining? You like to write, you have a whole blog.”) then I would be a million times more stressed and drowned in work. Of course, I’m still slightly stressed because this is such a stressful time of the year. From realizing you literally have no time left to work any magic on your grades to needing to find travel arrangements and pack for the upcoming break to studying your ass off because you have no idea what your professor is about to put on this exam, you’re bound to be running around at least a little worried about the outcome of the semester. Honestly, leaving and being [academically] stress-free is so close that I can almost taste it and that’s the real reason I’ve been in such a good mood lately. Knowing that I only have a few more days and a few more tasks to complete before getting to just sleep in and spend time with my friends and family without being worried about what’s due at 11:59pm genuinely brings a smile to my face.
Howard’s School of Communications Student Council and Her Campus Howard recently put on a panel event this past Tuesday titled “The Boss in You” that featured, of course, boss ass black women giving advice on how to discover the boss in yourself. The panelists were Nathalie Nicole Smith (Women Who Boss), Jade Agudosi (2017-2018 Howard University Student Association President), Breyonna Pinkney (The Pinkney Promise Foundation), and Taylor Evans (author of Inhaling Happiness and CEO of Huoyàn Management). The event also featured a makeup tutorial from makeup artist, Kalene Gentles. Throughout the event, I really felt like all the hard work I had put in over break was being affirmed and like I had made the right decision. Each woman on the panel gave great advice and really spoke to me on all types of levels. When Nathalie said, “This is the season where you’re going to win or you’re going to lose. You have to make a choice.” I really felt that lol. Nathalie also mentioned something that’s probably going to stick with me for a while: “You can create the woman that you want to be.” Want to have that 4.0? Study for it. Want to lose weight or gain muscle? Go to the gym, sis. Want to be the best in your field? Work for it. Want to master a craft, whether it’s makeup or hair? Practice makes perfect. You have to put in the work to receive the results that you desire. You cannot wish and hope and pray but not complete the necessary steps to complete your goal. Other things that stuck with me from these ladies include:
“Surround yourself with people that will speak positivity into your life.” -Jade Agudosi;
“Everyday God has a plan for you, but so does the enemy.” -Breyonna Pinkney;
“Protect your time.” -Nathalie Nicole Smith (when mentioning that she only uses social media and takes phone calls during certain times of the day);
“Your faith has to be greater than your fear.” -Kalene Gentles; and
“If something is not for you, then it’ll show itself every time.” -Jade Agudosi. If you want to know more about the event, you can read this thread from Rebecca Johnson.
I think I’ll say that discipline was the biggest lesson I learned this semester because I had the organization (shoutout to all of my planners and the Do! app) and the motivation but somehow I still wasn’t performing to the best of my ability. I had to force myself to wake up early and do one of my “gateway tasks” or study or complete my clinical observation hours. Even if something went wrong with my plans where I wasn’t able to complete my main priority, I worked on something else rather than going back to my room and taking a nap. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone this semester (both academically and socially) and it’s been fun and it’s paid off in ways I would’ve never imagined. What did you learn this semester and how do you plan to keep that same energy for Spring 2018?