Whether you are burned out, running on an adrenaline rush from your great grades or feeling stressed and pressured about your summer internship, you should take some time to recover from the year. Amid homework, projects and social events during the school year, there is little time to break and think of your progress — or lack thereof. This is why I personally love summer. It gives you the opportunity to work on the things you have been pushing off, refocus after being beaten down by the school year and grow.
The first step to recovery from school is reflection. When looking back on the year, it is definitely easier to think of the negatives because they always stick out in our memory, but try to think of everything that happened this year. Think of the wins and think of the losses, but more importantly, remember how you reacted to these things. When you were winning, did you take a moment to revel in the happiness that you felt? Or did you keep looking forward to the next step to achieving your goal, whatever it may have been? When you were losing, did you shake it off as something inevitable or did you let it consume you? These are the things that truly help paint how much progress you are making as an individual. Though the landmarks of achievement are important, they mean nothing if you don’t experience and appreciate them for what they are.
It is also important to reflect on your relationships with others. Consider the new relationships that blossomed and the others that fizzled out. In college, where you are meeting so many people at such an accelerated pace, it is certain that groups will come and groups will go — it’s natural, so don’t dwell on it too much. But if you feel that some of the relationships ended on the wrong foot, summer is the perfect time to reach out and mend the tie. In addition, for those who dated this semester, think about what went well and what did not. What can you learn from that relationship to help better yourself and your future?
Personally, I believe it is always better to reflect one day at a time. When I first start to relive the moments that I am reflecting on, I am overwhelmed with emotions. It is also natural when you first start to contemplate on those memories to let a few moments stick out and dictate how you felt about the year in total. For those reasons, I like to reflect for a few moments one day and then come back to it another day with, hopefully, a new perspective and outlook. If this is hard for you, don’t be troubled — reflection is not an easy task. However, reflection is necessary if you desire to move forward emotionally and sometimes intellectually.
I hope that you find serenity and grace in your reflection. Moreover, I hope that you are able to learn from the circumstances that you faced last year.
This summer should be a resource to help you recover from the school year. No matter how great the year went for you, it is good to return to your center and refocus for the events in the school year to come.
Santana Jackson is a rising junior in the College. Steps To Recovery appears every other Thursday.
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