To the Girl Feeling Overwhelmed About a New School Year


Three days before my senior year of college began, I woke up in a sweat.

I felt this heavy burden surrounding me, as if I were the mythical Atlas carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Odd? Maybe. True? Definitely. I was drowning in a sea of my unaddressed worries.

The beginning of a new school year brings me so much excitement. I’ve always liked school, especially school supplies. As an unashamed organizational freak, my happy place includes a colorful assortment of highlighters, new pens, binders and notebooks.

Gold paperclips? I obviously need them. File folders with sheets of matching labels? Already in my cart. I’ll go for anything that gives the illusion that I have my life together. The reality is no amount of preparation, organization or cute school supplies can prevent me from waking up with a pit in my stomach.

A new school year for me brings a variety of excitement: I’m reconnected with my gal pals, I’m back on my beautiful campus, I’m reunited with my sisters in Tri Theta, I get to attend interesting lectures and expand my knowledge base and I’m one step closer to receiving my diploma.

Maybe you are the same way. A new school year is full of endless possibilities and opportunities. It’s thrilling.

But do you ever feel like there is no way you’ll be able to balance it all? That’s what I woke up feeling three days before classes began. How will I be able to handle it all?

In college, we have so much thrown at us. Not only do we have to handle classes, making the grades and countless hours studying, but we have a million other obligations as well. We have sororities and social groups, friendships, romantic relationships, extracurricular activities and jobs. Not to mention we have the pressures of paying for school, managing our money wisely, making professional connections and preparing ourselves for the “real world.”

Am I stressing you out? Because I’m stressing myself out.

The morning I woke up overwhelmed, I could have wallowed in it. I could have just stayed in my cozy bed with my blankets pulled up around me and watched Netflix until my binge-watching drowned out my worries. While that may seem like the easy choice, it’s not the right choice.

So, I got out of bed, sat down at my desk and I took out my prayer journal. I wrote down every single thing I was worried about, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed. Then, I wrote down what was in my control with each of these worries.

We never have complete control of anything in this life, but we do have control of our actions and choices.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed at the year before you, I encourage you to make a list of everything you’re worried about. Then, write what you have control of with each of those things and pray about them.

New school years are full of excitement. Don’t allow your worries to drown out the beauty in this new year. In the wise words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what you have, where
you are.”

Give the rest to God and enjoy these moments, for these moments are your life.

Hannah Brewster // @hannahlaurenbrew


Hannah is currently an Okie studying public relations at Oklahoma Christian University. She loves all things brunch, music and chocolate chip cookie dough, and she is a shameless coffee addict. Hannah has a passion to spread joy and hope through sharing her heart through writing.