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  • Writer's pictureKaterina

The Journey Is Challenging, But Worth It

Do you ever experience moments in your journey that feel draining? And then you are trying to stay on top of the list of tasks, but then the unwanted pain symptoms add to the stress? That's where I am this season.

In less than two months, I will be graduating from college. It has always been the plan. But, a dream that didn't feel real until more recently. As I'm in the last half of my semester, there is much more to finish before receiving my diploma.

Toward the beginning of this semester, I reached out to different friends who had graduated from college in the last few years. I wanted to know how they made it through the final 16 weeks because I could barely handle starting a full course load and struggling with chronic pain.

Here are some of the suggestions that have helped me.

  • One friend recommended I write down my list of assignments and then check the boxes after completing each paper, exam, or project. That way, it wouldn't feel as overwhelming as the weeks passed. I stopped doing this a few years ago because of my hand pain. I made an adapted version by typing them on a google document.

  • Another friend encouraged me to stay connected with friends and work on a balance of college, work, church, and social gatherings. I'm struggling with this now because the more I say yes, the more drained my body becomes. But, having a healthier balance is something I'm working on.

  • Lastly, a friend reminded me to focus on the present and not just the worries or stress of the future. And most of all, keep my faith in God as a priority. I thought this was great advice as my walk with the Lord is an essential part of my life, and I don't want to follow into the trap of distractions taking away my time with God.

The weeks continue to fly by, and I have to work through the physical challenges with limited strength. It's been a battle of feeling physically ill from pain, fatigue, and nausea. Sometimes I wonder how I will be able to handle anything else. The assignment load is piling up, and I struggle to keep up. And because of my rigorous schedule, there is little downtime.

Part of it is my fault. I try to limit the number of additional commitments, but it's hard as I want to enjoy being a student these next few weeks. While overdoing it, I have had countless days of overwhelming physical pain.

My friends try to encourage me to stop. They know how much my chronic pain affects every area of my life. I'm even in a health psychology course, and my classmates and I have been learning about the consequences to the body when there is a lack of rest and care. It's another reminder that I must focus more on my health to finish college.

So I'm working on finding those limits and doing what I can day by day. This journey is challenging right now, but it's worth it! Soon I will be receiving my bachelor's degree and looking at how far I have come during these college years. Until then, I will continue to take one moment at a time. God's got this.

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