If you're reading this, you've probably reached a point in your life where people are expecting a lot of things from you, and the pressure to have your life together can be overwhelming. As a recent college graduate, I know a thing or two about managing expectations.
For the last four years, I gambled away my sanity to somehow balance going to school, working 30+ hours a week at part-time jobs, spending time with friends, keeping up with sorority life and nursing my body back to health after a night out.
It wasn't always easy (or pretty), but I've picked up a a few tricks along the way. Being the generous soul I am, I'm going to share these tricks with you today, so grab a pen and read on.
1. Be responsible-ish with your money.
There's nothing we college kids love more than a good bargain, especially when that deal involves some combination of food and alcohol. Make the most of your happy hour by hitting up dive bars and mom-and-pop restaurants.
These establishments usually give great deals to compete with more popular chain restaurants and bars. My personal favorite? The $5 double margaritas from a local Mexican spot. Even if you only have a few bucks left in your bank account, think about how few boozy dinners you have left with your college pals.
Life's short and college is shorter, so yes, #YOLO is a perfectly good excuse to get a nice buzz on a budget.
2. Good hygiene is key.
At the height of my college career, I was lucky to get more than four hours of sleep a night, if I even slept at all. When you're working tirelessly to make the most out of your day, it's easy to let yourself go. In fact, disregarding personal hygiene can actually be a symptom of depression, anxiety and other disorders.
Get yourself out of that funk (literally) and hop in the shower. Hot, steamy showers are perfect for relaxing your muscles and opening your pores, but a cold shower can be surprisingly rejuvenating as well.
Either way, the sound of running water works great to muffle your cries when you inevitably have a breakdown at 3 am during finals week.
3. Make time for friends.
You've probably been told before you become whom you surround yourself with, and this is 10 times more true for college kids.
Whether or not college students admit it, we're all quite lost and struggling to figure out who we are. There's no better way to find out than by exploring the world around you with a good friend by your side.
How else will you know you hate seaweed chips unless your weird, vegetarian roomie forces you to try it? How else will you know how much vodka is too much vodka unless you mix it with Red Bull and down it like water? (Disclaimer: Mixing alcohol and energy drinks is actually really toxic, but if you ever see me in a bar and want to buy me a vodka Red Bull, I won't be offended.)
The point is college friends are more than just people to pass the time with. They're the people who shape us and share experiences with us so we'll have fun stories to tell our children.
4. Make time for yourself.
Give yourself the chance to recharge by setting aside a couple of hours to do the things that you enjoy doing.
Reading, lifting, surfing or even pole dancing -- Find what you love and let it kill you.
I can hardly describe the satisfaction you get by investing in yourself, and yes, that does include indulging in guilty pleasures.
For me, it's the hours spent watching "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" while eating my weight in guacamole, which will surely kill me. Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse, am I right?
5. Fake it 'til you make it.
If you only take one thing away from this article, let it be this: Confidence is everything.
You will never achieve the things you want in this life if you don't first believe you can.
Join a club you're interested in or take a leadership role in one you're already a part of. Ask your favorite professor to mentor you or write you a letter of recommendation. Apply for that job even if they're looking for three years more experience than you have. Spark up a conversation with that cute girl or guy you've been eyeing on campus.
Michael Jordan said it best: “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.”