Taking Things One Step at a Time

Scrabble tiles laid out on a white background reading "Be positive"Written by: Maryam Khan, 2nd Year Health Studies 

Photo by: Amanda Jones on Unsplash

Each year, we all progress in school, our mindset, and life, in general. We grow and develop more as a person by learning things around us and about ourselves. As students, some of us may plan to attend the next academic year, graduate, take a gap year, travel, work, or even start a business. Essentially, as we move forward together, we all aim to do something with a purpose.

Taking a Step Back and Looking Ahead:

As this academic year ends, it is nice to look back on the memories you have made, even if it is as mundane as midnight food deliveries during finals week, or if you had an OK experience in a course. Prior experience carves one's perspective into looking forward to their next succeeding step, allowing them to reflect and build their determination to accomplish something. Students get to analyze what they can work on, or aim to accomplish specific skills based on their school, passion, and personal life experiences. The idea is to take a step back and reflect with no judgment, acknowledging the fact that your efforts are well enough.

A Potential Plan for Tomorrow:

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely shifted the definition of "normal" to everyday life, and such changes have impacted students regarding their plans, and essentially, their wellbeing. A worthwhile goal for a student who has experienced the unique learning format the past year can be planning a well-balanced summer that fits them and their future goals. A student can either use their time in learning a new language, learn how to handle their finances, plan a safe and exciting local trip with family, or even relax under the sun for that perfect tan. Either way, it's the quality of experience and how it serves one that counts. At the end of the day, planning something for yourself is essential and can be fulfilling. For instance, taking advantage of summer since experiencing a global health issue can provide one with a new perspective on investing their time in what matters most to them.

For Now:

Regardless of what a student would like to accomplish in the future, in career or personal life, it is the present moment that counts and the mindset that can lead them to their goals. Most students may feel pressured to have it all together with each passing year, but here is the secret; that is not how it works! There is no rule to be perfect or put together for the future unless you are singing karaoke songs at 2 AM for a potential sing-off, but accomplishing goals or attaining those milestones does not require someone to be flawlessly ideal. Not to get confused, there is nothing wrong with being ambitious, but it does not always mean you should sacrifice your present time for the future. As a student, I have learned that every year is a new experience that allows one to reach the best version of themselves within their current time. So being in the moment and contributing your best efforts is the best advice you can receive. Some wise student once quoted something ordinary but sincere to me, "Life is not a race, it's a marathon," he said as he crammed for his physics test.

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