Inhale. Exhale.

Before you continue reading any more into this post, I’d like to first instruct you to do something. It’s not hard. I’d like you to take a deep breath. Ready? One. Two. Three. Inhale. Exhale.

Now, let’s begin. Anybody else out there burnt out? Lately, I have been feeling rather drained. You may have wondered why I haven’t posted a blog in a while. The short answer is that in between school, life, assignments, school, reading, life, and did I mention school, I am tired. This semester has kind of taken it out of me.

I am learning so much in between my five classes and lots and lots of homework, and there is no doubt that I will come out of this semester with vastly more knowledge than I had just a few months ago.

But with everything that I have been doing, at times (most times), it feels like there is little room for me to even breathe. I have been exhausted, and there is no denying that I am in much need of a break.

Why am I sharing all of this with you? Because I know that I am not alone. You may or may not be in college right now. But I am quite confident that for some of you out there school, work, kids, or other obligations are also wearing you down.

So what’s the good news? The first bit of news is that you do have time to breathe, whether you think so or not. You just did it two minutes ago. I want to remind you that you need to take time for yourself to breathe. Some days, this will literally look like a 30-second time slot where you force yourself to take a breath. But those 30 seconds are worth it, and you need to be reminded that amidst everything, you can breathe.

Secondly, if you will allow your eyes to lift themselves from negativity to positivity, you will begin to see the fruitfulness of this season. As I continue to push through the daily grind of being a college student, I reflect on the fact that no matter how busy, I am at a university where I am afforded so many opportunities to grow. There is fruit from this season. I will come out of it stronger, smarter, and more gracious. A shift in mindset will allow you to also see the fruit that is ahead of you.

Lastly, the good news is that you do not have to take yourself so seriously. You can give yourself time to have some fun and let loose. Just because everything seems to be swirling around you at 80 mph does not mean that you can’t give yourself a break. A car can only drive at 80 mph for so long until it will have to stop and refuel. You are no different. Take some time to refuel!

This past week, my uncle, cousin, and mom came to Athens for the day to visit me. I had a test the next day, but I allowed myself to enjoy the moment. I permitted myself the freedom to take them to two delicious Athens’ restaurants. I gave them a tour of North Campus. We rang the chapel bell, and we threw the frisbee.

I am not saying that I will take a free day to myself before every test from now on, but I do believe that in this moment, taking a break allowed me to perform better on my test. Spending time with my family rejuvenated me.

I am incredibly grateful for the university I attend. I am thankful for how it challenges me to be a better me. I am also grateful that it is a place that provides a space to rest. If you allow yourself to, you can find a few moments to rest wherever you are. As you continue to see the many challenges ahead of you ready to be conquered, recognize that you don’t have to wait until their completion to take a little time for you.

Now, as I wrap up a post that is long overdue, it is only fitting that we take one more moment to breathe together again. Ready? One. Two. Three. Inhale. Exhale.

Xoxo, Marlee

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