You may be worn out, you may be glad to be done – this one goes out to all my fellow hardworking college students.

How do you see yourself?

Everyone has some way of describing themselves to others as they meet new people, but have you ever taken the opportunity to meet yourself? To really understand how intense and amazing some of the things you do are?

I’ve written a few articles previously about learning to appreciate yourself, finding yourself through spending time alone, and my journey to figuring out who I am. What works for each person is different. We’re all different in some way, and I even wrote an article about that. You should be glad that you are the way you are, even when things go wrong, even when things suck horribly. I know some people with depression question why they have to be the way they are, and that saying that tomorrow will be better very rarely helps. All I can say to anyone who is struggling with mental health is that I hope they can take care of themselves in whatever way works for them, and to try and take life one small victory at a time.

So why now?

I say this now because this is a time of year filled with the highest of joys (Christmas, the most mainstream holiday, but also all the other holidays of every other religion), and the lowest of lows. Especially for college students who have just finished ridiculously exhausting weeks of finals and cramming and eating whatever they can get their hands on because they JUST NEED TO STUDY A LITTLE MORE and who barely slept – take a breath. Pause for a little bit, breathe, drink some more water, eat what your body is asking you to eat (yes, even if it’s junk food, but do try to balance it out), and take a nap. You’re done (or close to done), so now’s the time to recover from the semester, no matter how intense it was for you.

Take some time now.

Let’s revisit the original question. How do you see yourself now? You might be stressing about finals and forget that you even exist as an entity that has characteristics or qualities. I know that happened to me one year. You might just be happy to be home and think of yourself as the part of the family that’s been gone for the semester. Or you might be somewhere in between those or somewhere that’s not even considered. If you’re thinking negatively about what you’ve just finished, it’s okay. It’s better to acknowledge the feelings than ignore them and not understand what’s really going on, but don’t let negative feelings encompass your being and take over how you view yourself.

You’ve just finished a semester! School is hard, harder than a lot of people give you credit for. Realize the magnitude of your accomplishments! You are what a lot of people wish they could be, and you’re doing things that some others couldn’t do. You made it. Be grateful for where you are.

Now that you’re here, now that you’re done, take some time for yourself. Relax. Take care of yourself. Take long showers, eat food you like, get the proper amount of sleep. You’ll have to start all over again soon enough if you’re a student.

You can do it. I believe in you.

I might not know you personally, but I really truly do believe in you.