Pay it forward for yourself

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Kara Lyons
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Life can be so busy. That’s why students make resolutions to be more organized or prep their meals at the beginning of each week. However, I believe students don’t do enough to “meal prep” for their own mental well-being. Our generation puts a strong emphasis on self-care, whether that be valuing work-life balance or doing a facial mask once a week! However, I believe “meal-prepping” mundane and easily-forgettable tasks is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to show your future self that you care.

An overwhelming load

This past semester, I was enrolled in 20 credit hours consisting of a few of the hardest classes I would have to take for my degree. Although my overwhelming course load was largely due to poor planning on my part, it ironically taught me the importance of planning to make sure I survived my demanding semester while ensuring my success. I learned to focus on the little things that would make daily life a little bit easier and help prepare me to face any future hardships and curve balls that could arise.

An idea in the parking lot

It all started when I signed up for a Pilates class on the other side of campus. I remember having a meeting before my earliest class with a department head, and I woke up extra early to make sure I didn’t miss it. When I arrived on campus I witnessed the rare sight of an abundance of empty parking spaces in the lot that is usually the most overcrowded parking lot at my university. I was determined to get a spot nearest the business school when I remembered the Pilates class I had later in the day. That morning, I was so extremely early that I had time to park further away and walk an extra 5 minutes to my meeting, but now would be able to leave campus as soon as Pilates was over.

Being kinder to ‘future me’

It’s as simple as that. Life is so much easier when there is a little bit of forethought. I began parking strategically to be kinder to my future self because I realized I don’t know what the day will have in store for me. I don’t know if ‘future me’ got a bad grade on a test or sprained her ankle at the gym or made dinner plans with a friend after class that require me hurrying to make it to the restaurant on time.

My new philosophy began to manifest itself in multiple, different ways. I began to always keep workout clothes in my car; I would lay out my clothes the night before class; I even went on a weekend trip before Christmas Break and made sure to leave a breakfast bar for my early morning return. I decided to make it as easy as possible to make sure my future self has a simpler time.

If you happen to find yourself with difficult classes or too many time commitments or even want to improve your performance in school, I implore you to start thinking today about what you must do tomorrow. It will make all the difference.


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