As a senior currently in her final year of college, there are many things I have to do to wrap up my collegiate journey. From finishing up my classes to networking with employers, to extracurricular activities, to juggling two part-time jobs and dance, to looking for a job, to figuring out the rest of my life after graduation, it can be stressful.

Sometimes people wonder how I manage to do everything. Sometimes I wonder how I manage to do everything. Even with that thought in my head, it all comes down to time management and organization.

I usually keep an agenda on me at all times to write down my assignments and events I have going on in my life. I also wear a watch on me at all times so I can keep track of time. These are the two main things on how I handle managing my time and organizing everything.

Even with my busy schedule that keeps my head in the game at all times, it is important for me to set aside some time to take care of myself. With that said, here are five ways to take of yourself during your last year of college.

1. Create a playlist and listen to your favorite music.

Whenever I feel stressed, I pick up my iPhone and start to listen to some of my favorite music. Listening to your favorite music can make you feel better and more prepared take on anything. When I listen to music while working on an assignment or exercising, I always feel more motivated to get better with what I am doing. Also, I feel good about myself, and that’s so important.

2. Try to eat healthy food.

“Yeah. It is easy to grab that pouch of french fries or that cone of ice cream because it is freaking delicious. But would it be better to have a plate of steam vegetables with chicken? Yes. Absolutely.”

Having a plate of steam vegetables with chicken or any other healthy combinations can make you feel fuller but can make you more energetic. That is not the case whenever I eat junk food like french fries or ice cream. Even though they are delicious, I usually eat more of them than I intended but eating them makes me feel less energetic.

Eating healthy food gives you more energy to get things done during the day and work on that endless to do list I mentioned earlier. Plus, eating healthy can help you feel better about yourself and boost your confidence. Knowing that you ate clean and it is good for your body. I usually like to eat vegetables with chicken and a banana when I can to fill me up for the rest of the day, which it really makes a difference.

3. Spend time with friends and family.

It is easy to get caught up in how busy you are with senior projects, papers, working and more. Trust me, I get it.

But make sure you set aside some time to spend time with your friends and family when you can. Having lunch with friends or visiting your family on a weekend can mean a lot to them, and can help take your mind off of work and school for a bit. Also, talking to them can relieve any problems you have. I usually try to grab lunch with friends on school days and talk about how we are doing. I also try to visit my family once a month, and we both appreciate it a lot.

4. Get a good amount of sleep each night.

Sleep is SO important! I cannot stress that enough. Not getting enough sleep can leave you more stressed and tired. I at least try to get six hours of sleep per night, sometimes some more if I have more free time. It is tempting for me to spend time on my phone for three to four hours, a habit I think we all fall victim to sometimes. So I am actively working on spending less time on my phone before bedtime. It’s super healthy to give your mind and eyes a break, and something you too should work to cut down on for restful sleep.

5. Do what you love to do during your spare time!

Doing what you love can make your last year of college less stressful and more fun. Whether it is exercising, creating art or going for a walk, it can help put your mind at ease. Aside from school and work, I love to dance. At my college, I minor in dance, am a member of the President Cultural Dance Club, a Dancer/Choreographer of Dance Club, and a member of the dance team. So, yeah. I freaking love to dance.

I did not have that much dance experience before coming to college to be honest. I did not start taking dancing seriously until college since I only took classes in hip hop and zumba. My first start in dance in college was when I joined Cultural Dance Club, where a few choreographers taught dances from around the world. Then, I joined Dance Club, where we performed in shows every semester. It was scary for me at first to perform in front of hundreds of people but I quickly overcame my fear since it felt so good to perform in front of a lot of people. Lastly, I joined my college’s dance team as well as a minor in dance since I wanted to perform more and take dance more seriously.
Even though I dance a lot in college, it does not feel like work at all. My passion for dance led me expose to different dance styles as well as meeting many new friends. Not only that, it is my number one stress reliever and a good excuse to not to use the gym. After each dance practice or class, I always leave feeling so much better about myself.

Whatever your version of dance is, find it and hold on to it. Don’t let it fade during busy periods or times of stress, because it can be your savior and your true connection to yourself.

As seniors, it is easy to get caught up with everything from classes to getting ready for the real world. You have to remind yourself that you still need to take care of yourself and have fun. Besides, it is your last year and last chance to take full advantage of the experience. When college is done, it’s done. So make the most of it, balance work and play, and remember to always take care of yourself first.

You are in college once (or twice or three times) so do not overwork yourself or over party. Make it the best last year as possible. Once you graduate, you are not going to have this again. Trust me. College is a wonderful opportunity that should not be taken for granted. Once it is over, it is over.

Enjoy your last year of college my fellow readers!

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