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Hey, besties! Welcome to this week’s edition of Paige’s Page! This week we are going to be discussing surviving college and navigating independence. I really loved this topic because I think we are all relearning how to exist here in somewhat normalcy. I know I wasn’t ready, but I think it’s really comforting to know that I’m not alone in this. I would like to start this off by saying that it is totally okay if you are struggling right now. You are not alone, and you will get through this. Let’s get started!

Hi, Paige! I’m really having trouble with trying to balance different aspects of college life (eating, doing work, sleeping, etc). Do you have any advice?

Hey, bestie! This is such a hard thing to adjust to. Being here, I feel like I’m always on; I have social responsibilities and work, and I’m supposed to somehow find time for myself. It is a tough thing to navigate and I’m sure you’re killing it. But in terms of balancing aspects of college life, I suggest combining your activities or multitasking when you can. You have to eat dinner before your class presentation and your friend has a story to tell you? Grab dinner together. You have to fold your laundry, but you need to call your mom to ask her about renewing your driver’s license? Fold and chat. Most, if not all, things you need to do can be done while you’re doing other things. Try as hard as you can to multitask. When it comes to your work and your mental/physical health, however, you should prioritize these acts on their own. It is so hard to adjust to the workload in college especially with midterms right now. I have felt so burnt out from all of my other activities, but I have continued to ensure I can make the time to get my work done. All of this juggling makes me get extremely overwhelmed, and I have struggled to find ways to acknowledge when I may be having a hard time. I know it’s easier said than done, but take whatever time you can for yourself because your body and your mind will thank you later. Sleep is the thing I have had the worst time with. I’m going to share the advice I use to survive here: Take a nap. You will not regret it. If you have a hard time sleeping at night like I do, you really should try to get those hours in. My biggest issue with sleep is that I feel like my only time to relax and be social is in the evenings, and so I will use that time to the fullest even though it may not always be the best for me to be staying up late. So, know your limits! I know it may not feel like it but you will figure out the best way to do things for yourself. It takes so much time; try not to stress!

I have an issue with independence and don’t have a ton of trust in myself even though I am trying so hard to let myself make mistakes. Any suggestions?

Hi, bestie! Being alone is hard. We were all just stuck at home for the last year and a half, and getting back out there will definitely take some time. I love that you are letting yourself make mistakes—that is super important. I tend to be a perfectionist and it’s really difficult for me to allow myself the same grace. I love that we can learn from each other. Going to college was really stressful for me; I am super close to my parents and never really left home for long periods of time. I had to learn how to do everything on my own and that left me feeling really anxious and confused. You have to let yourself make those mistakes because being an independent person is something only you can figure out on your own. Trusting yourself is a huge part of finding this independence. I like to think that I have good instincts and my gut is usually right. Listen to whatever force inside of you tells you what is right. Maybe you have a little angel or devil on your shoulders, maybe independence, freedom and growing up are listening to the devil instead of the angel sometimes.

What are your tips for keeping it together when everyone is driving you insane?

Hi, bestie! It really is that time of the semester! Having your whole life contained on a tiny campus is really fun but it can get old and also very frustrating very quickly. I live close enough to home that when everyone is annoying me, I can go home and disconnect for a day or two. However, when I don’t have the time for that, I lock myself in my room and don’t speak to anyone. Hey, it’s a healthy way to cope. I love to watch TV too; anything that will distract me and require no speaking. Everyone has those days where they just need to be alone, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for that. It’s also okay to communicate to those close to you that you need a break, or that they are frustrating you. Do what you need to do to keep yourself sane. 

You can submit questions to https://tinyurl.com/paigespagequestion. It will also be linked in my Instagram bio— @paigeweisburg and in the @BergWeekly Instagram Linktree.

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