“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde

As we wrap up the fourth week of the semester I think I speak for everyone when I say things have started to get real. The merriment of reunion is fading fast and the soul sucking entity that is school has started to take over our lives. Assignments are building up, sleep is slipping away, and fall sickness has made its strike on our stressed, tired immune systems.

This is quite a bleak reality and I know that I for one am searching for all the good things I can desperately grab hold to. I think it’s difficult sometimes to see the big picture, especially when you can barely think past tomorrow because there’s so much to worry about today. So partly for selfish reasons, I must admit, I wanted to devote a post to inspiration, to hope, because that’s what gets us through the day, that’s what gets us to our dreams.

Because I myself have been experiencing a rough week, I wanted to share some tips that have worked for me in hopes that they will work for you as well.

Tip #1: Self-reflect

As the pressure builds, I suggest a bit of self-reflection. Take stock of where you are, of what you have accomplished thus far. We are young, we are new, and we are constantly growing. Use the lessons you have learned and the achievements you have made as motivation for your continued work.

Tip # 2: Find a support system

There are many people in our lives; however, certain information can only be shared with a few of them. Find at least one person you feel comfortable confiding in. Make sure they are supportive and invested in your success. This will allow you to avoid that feeling of loneliness during times of stress.

Tip #3: Spend some time not thinking about anything

This to me is the most important suggestion. I find that spending at least a half an hour doing something that requires very little brain use is relaxing. Go on a bike ride or simply sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. Don’t forget to people watch!

Tip #4: See the future

I find it difficult sometimes to imagine where I will be in five years. I know what it is I want to be doing long term, but there are so many steps in between, so much work to get there. Setting small goals helps because then it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task. But as long as you remind yourself that there is an end, a reason for your efforts, all the stress and fatigue will at least seem worth it.

In reality, these suggestions are things you already knew. But remembering them is difficult sometimes. I’m not sure if this helped anyone at all, but walking through these suggestions has helped instill a new sense of hope within me, and I hope you are at least slightly more motivated. If anyone has anymore tips they would like share, please post within the comments. I promise, it is mutually beneficial, for you and for the readers.

If none of that helped, we can always take solace in knowing that there are only 12 more weeks until Christmas break.

And if that didn’t help…

All good things.

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