• Lauren Hanzel

If you're overwhelmed, you're not alone

Lauren, a college senior, talks about her transition going back to school and how we should embrace our challenges.

"You have dealt with so much, and done the best that you can. So, take a moment now to appreciate how strong you are" – Karen Salmansohn


As an undergraduate student in their final semester of college, I should breeze past this semester, right? Unfortunately, I can't.


We’ve all been through a lot, no matter what our age. As a senior that’s approaching 21, I’m graduating two years earlier than most students my age, with over half of my college education spent in an online setting. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of adjusting to my final semester after spending so much time online. Sure, I found that there were pros and cons to online learning. I found much more of my time freed up because I didn’t spend days each week in class. On the other hand, although I had a community of friends from before COVID-19, I sympathize with freshmen that have not had the experience to make friendships until this year.

"Remember that everyone, including yourself, is transitioning back to a world different than it ever was before."

For me, I feel on the cusp of mental burnout as I navigate my final semester, feeling like a freshman all over again when it comes to in-person experiences, regarding both social lives and careers. If you’re feeling the same way, you’re not alone. I’ve found myself scrambling to jump into this final semester and find a career at the end of it all.


One thing I’ve made myself value above all is taking a moment to breathe and evaluate everything that’s going on. The quote that I chose at the beginning truly resonated with me because it has caused me to reflect on how much we have all been through, and to enjoy the journey onwards.


We have all been changed in one way or another over the past two years. What matters more

than anything is reflecting on whether you were able to bring any good into your life, regardless of how significant or minuscule that positivity was. Although we are creeping back into a season of business, I’ve found that to feel less overwhelmed, I stay as organized as possible and worry about the day at hand, rather than ten steps ahead. What has to get done today? What is a responsibility today? Are there other things that I can squeeze in to make sure they get done?


However, even with all the scheduling, I have had moments where I need to drop an obligation,

event, or other responsibility because it weighed too much on my mental and spiritual wellness.

Whether you are excited to jump back into the world and get involved in your campus, or a little anxious, be kind to yourself. Remember that everyone, including yourself, is transitioning back to a world different than it ever was before. Enjoy your journey back into the life that you lead, even if it is a little rocky at times.